It's been a year since 49 people were killed in a mass shooting inside a popular LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
Monday survivors, victims' families, club employees and local officials gathered for a private service in the parking lot of Pulse nightclub at 2:02 a.m., the exact time Omar Mateen opened fire there a year ago. Mateen was eventually killed after a three-hour standoff with police.
“It’s totally different now. It’s like all the terrifying and awful memories I had have been replaced with tonight, with this unity and all this love,” Ramses Tinoco, who survived the massacre, told the Orlando Sentinel. “We’re all still grieving but this gave me some closure. I could smile and remember the 49.”
Although the early morning ceremony was only open to a few hundred people, hundreds more gathered outside the fence surrounding the nightclub.
Ministers began reading the names of the 49 people killed in the massacre at 2:02 a.m.
Club owner Barbara Poma opened the memorial service with words of hope.
"What you have endured in the past year seems like something only you can understand," Poma said, according to the Orlando Sentinel. "Except here tonight, you are surrounded by hundreds of others who are like you.”
Last month Poma announced plans to turn the site of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history into a museum by 2020.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.