For 44 years, people in Anchorage have come together to commemorate a horrific attack on the gay community.

The Pride Memorial remembers 32 people killed when a fire ripped through the upstairs of a New Orleans’ French Quarter lounge. At the time it was the largest killing of gay people in history.

Today, a small group gathered at the Anchorage cemetery and read the names of those killed in the fire and the names of the original 29 Alaskans who died of AIDS.

Board co-chair of Identity, Gayle Schuh said the memorial is close to her heart.

“It’s important for me to remember those who did so much before I was able to be out, free, proud, gay, those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.”

This was the most somber of the Pride events coming up this week. Other events include a film festival on Monday and Drag Queen Bingo on Thursday.

The big Pride Festival is June 24 from noon to 5 p.m. at the Delany Park Strip.