ROCKLAND COUNTY, N.Y. - Sunday was supposed to be a fun day in Nyack, an inclusive day, a chance to celebrate the LGBT community in Rockland County at Rockland County Pride Weekend. Instead, for many, it took on a more somber tone in the wake of the events from earlier that morning.
“It was a devastation for ourselves as individuals, for our entire community, and for the country to have this most heinous act of violence committed in a gay bar,” Phyllis Frank said over the phone on Tuesday of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando that saw 49 people killed and another 53 injured.
Frank is the director of the Rockland County Pride Center.
Intolerance for the LGBT community, homegrown terrorism, and gun control were all issues that were manifested in Sunday's events and are all parallel in significance, Frank said.
But one of the most troubling aspects is that the shooting took place in a gay bar where people go to dance, have fun, and feel safe, and in a city where families seek the same things, Frank said.
Two candlelight vigils will be held this week to honor the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando and their families.
In collaboration with the Village of Nyack, the Rockland County Pride Center will hold a candlelight vigil on June 16 at 6 p.m., which will start at village hall and make it's way to Veteran's Memorial Park to honor those lost.
A separate vigil will be held Wednesday in New City on the front lawn of the County Courthouse at 5 p.m.
Despite the events of this weekend, Frank said there is a strengthened commitment to create a community in a country that will not allow another travesty like the one in Orlando to occur.
“Our resolve is strong,” she said.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.