ORLANDO (CBSMiami) — Monday marks exactly one year since the deadliest mass shooting in American history. Forty-nine people died in the attack at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.
Present day, survivors and their families are struggling to make sense of their lives after the attack.
Milan D’Marco describes every day as a battle. Another day of sad and confused memories of the massacre at Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub.
“With every shot it was almost like glass breaking and it was glass breaking and glass breaking because the place was full of bottles,” said D’Marco.
The 21-year-old was a dancer at the gay nightclub. He survived by hiding in a dressing room but heard the carnage on the other side of the wall, where Omar Mateen opened fire on the crowd, killing 49 people.
Milan struggles with survivor’s guilt but has poured his anguish into his passion of costume design saying he survived for a reason.
Tara Connell has a permanent memorial in her home to honor her son Cory – a young man with big dreams who was on his way to becoming a firefighter.
“I don’t really sleep at night. It’s hard for me to sleep…what were his thoughts, what was he thinking, what was the last thing he said,” said Connell.
She says it has been heartwarming to learn how many people cared about Cory but recently, she feels herself buckling.
“I put on this face and I’ve heard how strong I am. You’re so strong, all you’re going through…I question am I really a strong person because I hurt,” said Connell.
For Tara, as for Milan, what will get them through the day’s events is being together with the only people who really understand.
Orlando has planned a day of tributes on Monday, including a ceremony of remembrance outside the Pulse nightclub.