GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Community members from across the East were invited to Crave Uptown Restaurant and Bar in Uptown Greenville to attend a remembrance ceremony for the victims of Pulse Nightclub.
One of those in attendance was PFLAG member Sandy Shephard.
“It’s hard to believe it’s been a year,” Shephard said. “There’s been many, Sandy Hook, we can’t forget. If we forget I feel like we’re destined to keep repeating the same steps over and over again.”
Shepard and her daughter were at Crave the night of the Pulse massacre, one year ago to the date.
Shephard said, “We were out celebrating enjoying the community being accepted, just being who we are, and there’s nothing wrong with that.”
On Monday, her and dozens others paid their respects.
ECU Junior Jon Cockerham was one of the many students there.
Cockerham said, “Often times people remember the perpetrator, the person who shot at the club. I think it’s important that we honor those that died. It’s important that those people are not forgotten.”
The ceremony featured a video by the Human Rights Campaign that showed all of the victims, including 2003 ECU graduate Shane Tomlinson
Cockerham said, “I think that’s even more of a reason (to remember) because we lost a pirate; once a pirate, always a pirate. We lost an alumni and that makes it hit closer to home.”
Cockerham said he wants people to feel free to walk in their truth.
“Life is too short to sensor yourself,” he said. “Life is too short to hold back. I think that when you hold back who you are, that’s doing a disservice to those 49 people who were killed and the 50 plus people that were injured. That’s not fair to them.”