SAN BERNARDINO ( — “We’re sending Orlando a message of solidarity. We went through this,” said Javier Hernandez, a vigil organizer on Monday.

Inside a room at the First Congregational Church were people of different races, sexual orientations, and religions.

And their prayers were punctuated by messages to stay strong, a day after a mass shooting inside a gay nightclub in Orlando claimed 49 lives.

About 50 others were wounded in the attack, which was believed to be the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

“We went through the same pain. We went through the same struggles,” said Hernandez, referring to the terrorist attack in San Bernardino back in December. “However, we overcame it here in San Bernardino and we want to send that message to Orlando.”

COMPLETE COVERAGE: Orlando Mass Shooting

Lt. Mike Madden with the San Bernardino Police Department was one of the first responders at the Inland Regional Center on Dec. 2 when 14 people were killed.

“It immediately hit home for us,” said Madden, explaining that the attack in Orlando was a reminder that the War on Terror, which has been fought by the nation’s military, is now being battled by local first responders.

“We’re fooling ourselves if we get lulled into the notion though that these events are not going to continue. We must be diligent,” he said. “It’s important that we in law enforcement continue to work with one another.”

Morgan Hyatt, who is transgender and bisexual, appreciates the efforts of law enforcement.

“You always hope that this won’t happen again so it’s shocking when it does. But, you just have to coming together and building that community,” Hyatt said.

Those who attended the vigil said they left feeling united.

“Although there is a lot of hate in this world, love wins,” Hernandez said.


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