Orlando Pulse nightclub owner releases plans for a memorial to the 49 killed
The owner of Pulse, the gay nightclub where 49 people were killed in a terror attack, has announced a memorial will be in place on the site by 2020.
The site of the attack will “ultimately (feature) a museum showcasing historic artifacts and stories from the event,” the website for the owner’s private charity states.
The attack on the Orlando venue last June also saw 53 people injured at the hands of gunman Omar Mateen, who was killed in a shootout with police.
The massacre was the worst shooting in modern US history.
Owner Barbara Poma told press today in front of the site that the newly assembled board of her charity, the onePULSE Foundation, would make the memorial a reality.
She told reporters: “The community most impacted by this horrible event in our history should determine the future of the Pulse site and how their loved ones and the events of that day should be memorialised.
Poma added that she was “awestruck by how many people have stepped up and committed their hearts to this project.
“I am profoundly grateful to the members of the new Board of Trustees who have joined with me to guide the future of this project.”
According to a press release on the foundation’s website, Poma has consulted experts who worked on the Oklahoma City National Memorial and New York City’s National September 11 Memorial and Museum.
“We remain grateful for the support that continues,” she said, adding that “helping the families and survivors heal continues to be of utmost importance to so many”.
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Poma added that the foundation’s “hope is that this memorial process will show that hate will not win.”
The press release is headed “Pulse Nightclub Owner Announces Plans for National Memorial,” but it is not clear how the memorial would be national, since Poma still owns the site.
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer suggested in August that the club should be taken into public ownership by the city in order to convert the entire site into a permanent public memorial.
But despite a bid of $2.25 million from the city, Poma refused to sell.
Poma, who originally opened the club in memory of her late brother, said she was unable to part with the property.
She told local press at the time that she would create a “permanent memorial at the existing site of Pulse.
“This decision truly came just from my heart and my passion for Pulse, and everything it’s meant to me and my family for the last 12 years since its inception.
“So I think the struggle was you know, letting it go, and it’s just something I could not come to grips with.”