Jacksonville vigils to honor victims of Orlando shooting

Most recent list of local vigils, events across the country

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – There were several vigils held Monday night to remember 49 people shot and killed at Pulse nightclub in Orlando and to raise money for their families. And many other vigils are expected to be held in the Jacksonville area throughout the week.

Vigil at Hamburger Marys raises money for victims' families

Hamburger Marys Jacksonville on Beach Boulevard honored the shooting victims of Pulse Nightclub with a vigil and free show Monday night.

The restaurant, which caters to the LGBTQ community, came together to send the message that the shooting did not break the community, but made it stronger.

"We have taken a huge blow to the face and it's been a huge hit, but we'll rise from this," said Karrisa Wade, event organizer, performer and community activist.

Wade said her phone was ringing off the hook Sunday morning as performers were frantic to see if their loved ones were OK. Fortunately, many made it out of the club safely. But others did not, which is why the community came together to sing songs of strength.

"The survivors are going to need more money. Then we could possible dream of just counseling with medical bills. Those who survive are going to be mourning the people that we lost for years to come," Wade said.

The spirit of giving was in the air at Monday's vigil, not just for the lives of LGBT community members, but for every American who hopes the idea of hate will one day come to an end.

"It's really sickening that things like this happen in American nowadays. And we look at it like a lot of young lives were wasted. And I mean American lives, not just gay lives," said Gary Motes, owner and operated of Hamburger Marys. 

Money from beverages purchased and the all tips gathered will go to the GoFundMe account set up to help the families of Pulse victims, including the proceeds from a charity bingo held after the vigil. 

There was a blood drive held from 6-9 p.m. Tuesday in the Hamburger Marys parking lot.

St. Augustine community comes together at vigil for shooting victims

The community of St. Augustine banned together near the Bridge of Lions to show solidarity and commemorate the lives lost in the mass shooting at Pulse in Orlando.

WATCH: Vigil held in St. Augustine

Even Orlando residents attended the vigil Monday night -- still shocked about what happened in their hometown.

"We just started crying in the car. We have friends that go there and they just didn't go there that night. We check on them," said Orlando resident Carol Adams.

Hundreds gathered to remember the lives of the 49 people shot and killed through candles, speeches and poems. 

"I just felt the need to say something. I know a lot of Christians are staying quiet because it's a controversial topic, but they are all God's people, it doesn't matter. And we need to just put all that aside. I love people, that's what God would want us to do," said Orlando native Catherine Growick.

Vigils to be held Wednesday


OneJax, an institute of University of North Florida, to hold vigil at Hendricks Avenue Baptist Church from noon-2 p.m.
Address: 4001 Hendricks Ave.

Riverside United Church of Christ at 7 p.m.
Address: 2858 Post St.

Vigils scheduled for Thursday

St. Augustine

Mardi Gras at 8 p.m.
Address: 123 San Marco Ave. 

Vigils to be held Sunday

Daytona Beach

Hamburger Marys in Daytona Beach at 8 p.m.
Address:180 N. Beach St.

To find vigils held throughout Florida and the United States, visit the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation's website.

About the Authors: