Today’s New York Pride Parade entertained over a million people who traveled to the event. The turn-out was astounding and particularly poignant after the Orlando gay nightclub massacre that took place just two weeks earlier.
“This parade is New York City saying defiantly – we will stand up to hatred,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio before the parade. “We will stand up to those who would try to undermine our values. We believe in a society for everyone.”
This year, signs paying tribute to the Orlando victims could be seen all along the march route. Forty-nine men and women dressed in all white clothing and veils held up names of those killed in the Pulse tragedy.
Usually, Pride marches are a time of celebration and revelry, but this year certainly had a more somber tone and feel to the parade.
One onlooker, Anthony Paden, said that although he has been attending this march for a decade “today means something different to me because of Orlando. Today means coming out and supporting gay Americans affected by the attack.”
This year’s parade touted more policemen and security than ever before. De Blasio said: “We have extraordinary NYPD presence to make sure that this will be not only the biggest, but the safest parade we’ve ever had.”
There were other surprising moments during the march. Senator Hillary Clinton walked in the last part of the parade, and other notable attendees included Governor Andrew Cuomo, Reverend Al Sharpton and Senator Chuck Schumer.
“I was the first Senator to march in this parade, but I won’t be the last,” Schumer stated.