Binghamton Honors Lives Lost In Orlando

Jun 15, 2016

Binghamton residents gathered Tuesday night near downtown to mourn and honor the victims of the massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando on Sunday.

The vigil included remarks from Binghamton Mayor Rich David. He offered support to the LGBT community.

"A message must be sent: that Binghamton stands with our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents who are especially heartbroken," David said.

Clergy members from several denominations also spoke. Ehtisham Siddiqui, President of the Islamic Organization of the Southern Tier, brought up members of his organization to stand with him on stage. He condemned the attacks.

The shooters actions "contradict a fundamental Islamic belief that the sanctity of life is to be preserved and recognized regardless of religious background, color, creed, race, gender or sexual orientation," Siddiqui said.

Unity was the message of the night, as was love.

Michelle Bogue-Trost of Binghamton was one of many in the crowd at Peacemakers Stage. "When your principles are founded on hate and not love, nothing good happens, nothing good can come of that, nothing powerful, nothing fruitful can come of that," she said.

Jim Clune of Binghamton said he’s feeling empathy for his LGBT friends. "I am feeling their fear. And you know it’s not something I normally feel," he said. "It’s got me angry."

Eduardo Heredia of Binghamton brought up his desire for more security. "If I was like a governor or a president, I would [take] more measures of security," he said. "We don’t need no more innocents being dead."

The vigil ended with a reading of the names of those killed. White balloons were released, one for each victim.