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Memorial Services Mark One Year Anniversary of Pulse Nightclub Shooting in Orlando

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Love was in the air -- and on signs, T-shirts and murals -- as people gathered at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando to remember those lost and mark the first anniversary of the worst terror attack on American soil since 9/11.

Christian Malone prays as he visits the memorial to the victims of the mass shooting setup around the Pulse nightclub one day before the one year anniversary of the shooting on June 11, 2017 in Orlando, Florida.(Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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.

Vigil attendees wore T-shirts saying, "We will not let hate win," as live string music played. Police intermingled with people in the crowd, shaking hands and accepting hugs. A blood drive truck sat in the parking lot, a reminder of how Orlando flocked to help in the wake of last year's tragedy.

And Mayor Buddy Dyer took to the stage to reinforce a message the Orlando community has been sending ever since a gunman stormed the club on June 12, 2016, and killed dozens before dying in a shootout with police.

"Orlando has your back no matter what. We are one Orlando," he said.

CNN affiliate WKMG reported that, overnight, 49 people dressed as angels surrounded the club ahead of the private memorial service for friends and families of the victims.

The angels -- wearing wide white wings and carrying candles -- also shielded mourners at victims' funerals in the days after the attack from anti-gay protesters.

At the overnight event, Poma said attendees had "gathered in the name of love," while Dyer told victims' loved ones they would "once again be able to smile, and dance, and laugh."

"The sun always rises; the light always triumphs the darkness," Dyer said, according to WKMG reporter Sachelle Saunders.

Families members read the names of the victims, WKMG said, with officials saying an estimated 1,000 people went to the club overnight to pay their respects.

Three other memorial services are being held Monday.

Orlando City, Orange County and Pulse declared June 12 "Orlando United Day" and many city landmarks have been lit up in rainbow colors, including the Lake Eola Park fountain, Orange County Convention Center, History Center and the Orlando Eye.

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