DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- Hundreds gathered in Washington Park Sunday night to remember the victims of the Orlando shooting. Candles lit up poster boards held by volunteers that displayed photographs of each victim, allowing mourners to silently walk through the park and reflect on each life lost.
"it's not just the loss of these 49 lives and the injuring of the 53; that is catastrophic alone," said Molly Menster, a Dubuque resident who helped organize the event. "The ripples and the impacts - It impacts all of us, it's not just me, it's you too."
Several LGBTQ+ groups in Dubuque came together in the days following the shooting to organize the event as a way for community members to process emotions and gather with a support system.
For Menster, events like this one should also serve as a reminder of what work needs to be done in the U.S. to prevent gun violence.
"We need to pay attention to what is happening with laws around guns in this country and asking the difficult questions and having the difficult conversations in civil ways and productive ways," Menster said. "To say how can we look at his complex problem for what it is - complex. And coming together so we can be addressing all parts of the complex problem."
Members of the Dubuque LGBTQ+ community said several other events are already planned in an effort to unite the community. A list of those events can be found at www.codbq.org/events