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Vigils to remember Orlando attack planned in midstate tonight

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Jun 13, 2016 2:29 PM
orlando_vigil.jpg

Photo by AP Photo/David Goldman

Paul Cox, right, leans on the shoulder of Brian Sullivan, as they observe a moment of silence during a vigil for a fatal shooting at an Orlando nightclub, Sunday, June 12, 2016, in Atlanta.

(Harrisburg) -- Vigils are planned across the midstate in the wake of the largest mass shooting in U.S. history.

The midstate's gay community is particularly hard hit by the attack in Orlando.

Ted Martin says yesterday was probably one of the lowest days of his time as executive director of Equality Pennsylvania, which advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights.

"It still reverberates today. I still feel it today. It is raw, it is very emotional, and I think it is something that I've had to think about," he says.

49 people were killed when a man who sympathizes with multiple terrorist groups stormed an Orlando gay club armed with multiple guns early Sunday morning.

Speaking on WITF's Smart Talk, Martin says he struggled to make it through the day.

He adds: "My husband kept saying are you alright, are you alright? I think it just all came in. I think it just all sort of came in. I think it was emotionally painful, I think, I think it was emotionally painful to really realize."

Martin says he met his husband on the dance floor, making the attack that much more personal for him.

He says politicians need to show leadership and bring people together now.

Meanwhile, vigils are planned this evening - including one in Harrisburg at the Broad Street Market at 7, and another in Lebanon at Saint James Lutheran Church at 6.

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