ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Tuesday will mark two years since a gunman opened fire inside the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, killing 49 people and injuring 53 others.
Several events are being held to honor the victims and survivors on the darkest day in Orlando's history.
Many people came to pay their respects at the Pulse memorial site Monday.
Crews took down the message board that surrounds the Pulse nightclub sign, giving those who come out a blank canvas to fill with their thoughts on the anniversary.
"It's so fresh in our minds still that we can't believe that two years has gone by. But to know it's only been two years and the way the community has healed after is amazing," said Nicole Rowdean, who came to the Pulse memorial.
Rowden said she moved to Orlando the day after the Pulse tragedy. In addition to showing up at the memorial Monday, she and her girlfriend started a new tradition.
"Actually, our first date was on the date last year. So we sort of did that on purpose to do our own respect toward it. We figured what better way to honor and remember everybody by having our first date? We've been together a year after," she said.
For some, Monday was the first time they've been to the memorial.
Guy Shaginaw said it's hard to relive the painful memories, but still wishes the club would reopen to truly embrace the saying, "We will not let hate win."
"They are hurt and you hear things about the bloody shoes and the doctor, and video of cellphones ringing, people looking for their loved ones. I know that's hard; that has to really hurt people. But the best thing, I think, with anything, is to move on," he said.
On Tuesday, 49 bells will ring at the nightclub in honor of those killed.
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