Vigil held to show strength after tragic accident at Stonewall Pride Parade

Colors of rainbow shine at altar to demonstrate community resiliency
Vigil at Sunshine Cathedral, Fort Lauderdale
Posted at 12:00 AM, Jun 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-21 08:51:04-04

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.  — A vigil was held Sunday night at the Sunshine Cathedral in Fort Lauderdale to show support to a musical family who lost one of their own during Saturday's Stonewall Pride Parade and Street Festival in Wilton Manors.

Inside the sanctuary, colors of the rainbow shined at the altar to demonstrate the resilience of a community after a tragic accident.

A member from the South Florida Gay's Men Choir sang "Hallelujah" in solidarity.

Fort Lauderdale police said the driver and the victims were part of the Fort Lauderdale Gay Men's Chorus who were taking part in Saturday's parade. They are a small 25-member group of mostly older men. Their names have yet to be released by authorities.

"As our chorus family mourns together, we thank the community for their love and understanding," Robert Boo, executive director of the Pride Center, read from a statement on behalf of the chorus. "The chorus is not in attendance tonight, but we are here in spirit."

Wilton Manors Mayor Scott Newton spoke about coming together in a tragic time.

"We may not be able to make sense of last's tragedy, but we can be together, support each other, grieve together and love each other," Newton said.

The owner of H.G. Roosters in West Palm Beach was among those who attended the service.

AJ Wasson, owner of H.G. Roosters in West Palm Beach, speaks about Wilton Manors tragedy
A.J. Wasson, the owner of H.G. Roosters in West Palm Beach, attended the vigil after the tragedy in Wilton Manors.

"We felt it was important to have a presence here to show support to the community," A.J. Wasson said. "What happened last night in Wilton Manors was a tragic event for our community. The feeling of the service was unity -- unity in the community."

Boo also said on behalf of the chorus that, when the time is right, they'll celebrate the life of their passed chorus member and show gratitude to those who showed compassion and forgiveness.