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Vigil for Pulse nightclub victims held in Charles Village

Dozens participated in a vigil for the Pulse nightclub victims in Charles Village.
Dozens participated in a vigil for the Pulse nightclub victims in Charles Village. (Carrie Wells / Baltimore Sun)

Dozens of marchers walked through Charles Village Monday evening carrying photos of the men and women slain at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando last year, silently honoring the victims.

The march marked the one-year anniversary of the gay nightclub shooting, in which Omar Mateen killed 49 people and wounded 58 others. Mateen was killed in a shootout with police.

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Xavier Guzman, 27, said that as a Latino gay man, like many of the Pulse victims, he felt like he could have been one of them. The victims had been celebrating a "Latin night" event.

"It hurts me and pains me that this happened to our community and I felt the need to come out and support those lives that were lost and those voices that were unfortunately silenced," said Guzman, of Baltimore. "It hit hard. Those Latin night people were just enjoying a random night and they didn't know it was going to be their last night."

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The group of about 60 began at Homewood Friends on North Charles Street and walked several blocks to The Cathedral of the Incarnation. There, they stood silently on the steps and listened as two women read the names of the victims and a few sentences about who they were.

The Rev. Joe Muth, the pastor of St. Matthew Catholic Church on Loch Raven Boulevard and one of the organizers, said the march was meant to bring people together in remembrance. He helped organize a similar event last year about two weeks after the shooting.

"This was one of the largest massacres in America and to let this go by, we can't afford to do that, because it would mean that we're dismissing it, like it wasn't that important," Muth said. "We need to stand up in situations like this to remind ourselves how important these individual lives were."

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