$10M approved for Pulse shooting memorial, museum in Orlando

People leave flowers and other items at a makeshift vigil outside the Orlando Regional Medical Center, which is close to where the mass shooting occurred at the Pulse gay nightclub early Sunday in Orlando, Florida, June 14, 2016. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Voice of America

Oct. 31 (UPI) — Commissioners in Florida’s Orange County approved $10 million to fund a memorial and museum near the site of the Pulse nightclub shooting.

The county commissioners voted unanimously in favor of using the $10 million in hotel taxes, which will be paid over three years, to help the nonprofit onePULSE Foundation purchase land around the nightclub where 49 people were killed in a mass shooting at the gay nightclub in Orlando on June 12, 2016.

Additional land is required because the club property isn’t large enough to host a museum. The funds will help the onePULSE Foundation pay design, engineering and architectural costs.

“This will be a sacred space that will tell the story of Pulse and our 49 angels, while ensuring future generations learn from the detrimental impact of hate, bigotry, discrimination and intolerance,” Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs said. “This museum sends a clear message that hate will not win and love will always prevail.”

There are nine potential sites in the vicinity of the current temporary memorial where the museum may be be built.

Barbara Poma, owner of the Pulse nightclub and founder of onePULSE Foundation, said the museum and memorial will be historical landmarks.

“We are not the first tragedy in our country,” she said. “You don’t go to 9/11 to think it’s a tourist attraction. You go there to make pilgrimage and pay our respect and to bear witness, and that’s exactly what the Pulse sites will be.”

A study by the onePULSE Foundation found that as of Oct. 19, more than 41,000 people had visited the interim memorial since it opened in May.

“I wanted to make sure that in 20 years from today, anyone who visited Orlando will exactly know that Pulse will never be erased,” Poma said.


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