NEW YORK -- In a show of solidarity with Orlando, New York officials and residents gathered at the 9/11 Memorial on Thursday to tie a rainbow of ribbons around a tree that survived the 2001 terrorist attack.
The crowd -- which included NYPD and FDNY members representing the LGBT community -- was led by a moment of silence in honor of the Orlando shooting victims by Joe Daniels, president and CEO of the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.
"Everything about what happened in Orlando is simply horrifying," Daniels said to those gathered. "The men and women killed and injured early Sunday morning were simply out for a night on the town at a nightclub that had become a sanctuary for their community. A place they could ... be free and be happy and be fully themselves."
Daniels drew several similarities between the victims of 9/11 and the Orlando shooting, in which 49 people and more than 50 were wounded in an attack on a nightclub. Victims were simply living their lives before the attacks, and sent texts and social media messages to loved ones hoping for rescue and safety, Daniels said.
The tribute shows New York's sorrow and compassion toward those affected by the shooting, as well as confidence in Orlando's resilience following the tragedy, Daniels said.
“I know that Orlando will, with the help of our nation, come through this," he said. "By standing at this site, together, we demonstrate that it is possible to overcome the very real how many feel right now."