By Justin Udo and Trang Do
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Here in Philadelphia hundreds of people gathered at City Hall for a candlelight vigil remembering the victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting.
Mayor Jim Kenney let group know the city of Philadelphia stands in solidarity with them.
“These vigils allow us all to remember and morn, but they also allow us to stand united against these attacks and the hate that fueled them,” mayor Kenney said.
He also grew emotional speaking about the 18-year-old honors student and basketball star gunned down as her life was just beginning.
“I can’t tell you how devastating it is that she was in that club,” he said. “Just make sure that we hold each other, that we love each other. We’re going to get through this all together.”
The crowd then turned to song, including the iconic civil rights anthem, “We shall overcome.”
“This is what the United States is about right here, these beautiful diverse faces and we are saying we are here, we’re in love and we are unapologetic about who we are,” said Nikki Lopez, a speaker representing the city’s Latino LGBT community.
Lopez read each victim’s name individually, but none cut as deeply as Philadelphia’s own Akyra Murray.
Murray’s mother Natalie Murray had a front row seat for the vigil, but all the way from Orlando via FaceTime, thanks to close family friend Angelia Gibson-Ayres.
“[Akyra] is going to be missed, she had a full scholarship that she will not be able to use,” Gibson-Ayres. “She’s really going to be missed. Her mother is going to need all of your prayers. She’s going to need to be held up right now.”
Reverend Jeffery Jordan said it’s important for him to come out and show support to those in pain, so they know they are not alone in their moment of sadness.
We are all mourning together, we can take today to grieve and the next month or so to grieve in pain but this is an opportunity to take a stand to make the world we live in a better place and a safer place,” Jordan said.
During the vigil the crowd lit candles, held a moment of silence and read the names of those killed in that night club massacre.
Eventually, the group went on a march around City Hall led by Murray’s West Catholic Prep basketball teammates.
“West Catholic lives for Kyra,” they chanted.
Murray’s family remains in Orlando, at the bedside of her cousin Tiara Parker, who was shot and is recovering.
Patience Carter, a friend of the girls, who is also from Philadelphia was shot and is expected to be okay.