On Sunday a record crowd is expected at the NYC Pride march, the annual celebration of gay rights that began in 1970. But this year will bring solidarity and a tribute for the 49 people killed in a gay nightclub in Orlando.
New York City's historic Stonewall Inn, the birthplace of the American gay rights movement, and the surrounding area are under increased police protection as organizers of the NYC Pride continue planning for what they hope will be another historic moment for the LGBT community.
Flowers and photographs of the Orlando shooting victims make up a memorial at the Stonewall Inn. Positioned just a few yards away are heavily-armed NYPD officers, reports CBS News correspondent Josh Elliott.
"This is an opportunity to show solidarity and to show that the relationship between the police and the gay community is improving at a time when the complexities of the issues facing the gay community are multiplying," New York City's police commissioner William Bratton said.
"Beyond the show of force, how much intelligence gathering has gone into the preparations for this?" Elliot asked him.
"We have a very robust intelligence operation... and our ears will be particularly attuned to anything that might relate to this parade," Bratton assured.
In a celebration of the Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality in 2015, 1.6 million people attended NYC Pride last year. Organizers say the shooting at Orlando's Pulse nightclub will change the tone of this year's march, but not its message.
"Our movement started in a nightclub where we didn't feel safe and here we are almost 50 years later and we still don't feel safe in these places," NYC Pride's James Fallarino said.
In the summer of 1969, a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a known neighborhood gay bar, led to riots, rebellion and launched the modern gay rights movement.
"There is no denying that we have history that we have to overcome, but you learn from the past you don't always have to be defined from the past. You want to be defined by the present and be defined by what you're going to do going forward," Bratton said.
Fallarino said this weekend will send a very powerful message.
"You can take 49 of our brothers and sisters, you can commit hate crimes against us, but you will not silence this community. And that's the most important thing about Pride," Fallarino said.
NYC Pride will kick off the weekend Friday with a rally. Each attendee will be given an orange bandana to honor the victims in Orlando, and the owner of the Pulse night club is expected to speak. A large contingent of the NYPD will also be there.