FRESNO, Calif. - People gathered in Fresno to remember the innocent lives lost in Orlando, Florida a year ago when a gunman went on a killing spree inside Pulse Nightclub.
The somber tribute included singing, the guitar, and reading of names of the 49 men and women who lost their lives.
"It was a strange feeling waking up to that news," said musician, J.d. Garza.
Investigators say Omar Mateen opened fire inside the club on June 12, 2016. A year later, the emotions are still raw.
"It's unfair that it happened," said Garza. "It's scary that it happened but we come together and we come together as a community and love one another."
About 40 people gathered inside Common Space in downtown Fresno to honor the victims and reflect on the tragedy.
For Garza, the shooting was more personal. He spent a semester living in Orlando.
"Friends and myself would go to Pulse Nightclub if not weekly, bi-weekly, so it was one of the more popular places to go to," said Garza.
Some said the tragedy serves as a reminder for the need of more unity.
"One of the things we can do as members of the LGBTQ community is remember events like this," said Steven Sanchez. "Come together, not only to mourn because mourning is something that happens constantly, but also to celebrate our community we still have here and remember where we've gone and where we still have to go."