Update: Hundreds joined DC Mayor Muriel Bowser in Dupont Circle to remember the 49 victims who were killed in Pulse night club
ORLANDO (CNN) -- Love was in the air -- and on signs, T-shirts and murals -- as people gathered at the Pulse nightclub to remember those lost and mark the first anniversary of the worst terror attack on American soil since 9/11.
The crowd overflowed into the street, and people lined up outside the fence surrounding the club to pay respects. In the parking lot, flowers and handmade hearts were passed out as vigil attendees from across central Florida hugged, held hands and shed tears.
"We are here to pay our respect to those who were not lucky enough to escape," said Travis Ohler, 26, from Orlando, who was at Pulse the night of the mass shooting but left before the horror unfolded. "Orlando is stronger no matter their race, religion, gay or straight. Orlando is coming together to show that we are stronger than that hate that was driven away."
The names of all 49 of those slain were read aloud Monday, as club owner Barbara Poma and others heaped praised upon the first responders that horrific night, as well as the community that has wrapped its arms around Pulse and its clientele in the year since.
"We stood up. We stood together. And we took care of one another," Poma said. "Orlando was proof love always wins."
While Pulse will serve as a memorial, Poma said she expects another club catering to Orlando's LGBTQ community to open in its place -- lamenting that "your sanctuary was taken from you."
"Pulse will always embody the memory of our 49, the survivors and all affected, and it will do so with honor and love," she said.