They came from far and wide to the now closed Pulse nightclub Monday to reflect and grieve, to be as one. Orlando United.
Jason Lambert is a local resident. He told me, "This is actually my first time being here. I couldn't bring myself to come, it's just so hard."
Jason is thankful he lost no friends.But in the shadow of Pulse, their home within sight of the club, partners Chris Wehnert and Timi Hedrick live with grief. Their friend, Manny, was among the 49 people killed in the shooter's rampage.
"I called him mini Manny because he was cute, full of life, always happy," Timi said.
Chris and Timi both dreaded and welcomed this anniversary. Chris hastened to add, "It is a good thing, a time of remembrance."
I asked whether they thought of leaving their home, but Chris was emphatic. He isn't leaving, even if a glance down the street is a reminder of his worst nightmare.
"I'm not going to allow the hate to win. I'm not going to change my whole life just because some jerk decided to do what he did...I don't want to hate to win. I live to love," he told me.