Grand Strand remembers victims of Orlando nightclub shooting on one-year anniversary

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – June 12 marked one year since what authorities call the deadliest mass shooting in United States history.

Last year, 49 people were killed at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida. On Monday, the city of Myrtle Beach came together at the Pulse Ultra nightclub on South Kings Highway to honor those who lost their lives.

Grand Strand Pride hosted the event and invited everyone to come out and partake in acts of love and kindness.

City and county officials in Orlando requested that the day be honored in that way.

Terry Livingston is the executive director of Grand Strand Pride and said Monday was all about continuing last year’s theme of “love conquers hate.”

“We came out of that event showing a lot of love and compassion for people, and we want to continue on that trend this year as we remember the one-year anniversary,” Livingston said, adding he doesn’t believe that responding to violence with violence ever works.

There was a special attendee at the event, Eric Richardson.

Richards was there to represent Dee Dee Drayton, a Georgetown-born, Myrtle Beach-raised woman who was one of the 49 killed in the mass shooting.

Three years before the shooting, Drayton, who grew up with her mother, uncle and grandmother in Myrtle Beach, moved to Orlando and began work as a bartender at Pulse Nightclub.

Today, her uncle owns a diner called Joe’s Diner on S.C. 707 in Socastee and he honors his niece with a memorial table set up right at the front of the restaurant.

That’s where Richardson first met Drayton’s uncle and learned her story.

Drayton’s family wasn’t at the Myrtle Beach memorial on Monday because they were at the service in Orlando. Richardson was asked to represent them and Dee Dee at Grand Strand Pride’s event.

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