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Florida leaders unveil Pulse nightclub memorial plans

February 23, 2018

The Pulse nightclub (Getty)

The onePULSE foundation has released images of an interim memorial.

The site is intended to remember the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting, which was the worst shooting in US history at the time.

The memorial aims to “give families, survivors, first responders, and the thousands of people who come each year space to pay their respects while planning and design of the permanent memorial are underway”.

The plans comes after a rainbow crossing was unveiled on the site in Orlando, Florida.

Orange County Regional History Centre will retrieve memorials left by loved ones before work officially begins.

“June 12, 2016 was an historic day in Orlando’s history,” said Pam Schwartz, Chief Curator of the History Center.

“We are dedicated to ensuring that the lives taken, all those affected, and the outpouring of public support are not forgotten.

“We will use the utmost care and sensitivity in preserving the items that were so lovingly created and placed here – they will be integral as the onePULSE Foundation plans the museum.”

A rainbow crossing was completed connecting two streets next to the Pulse nightclub.

It comes after thousands of people signed a petition calling for a rainbow memorial to remember the victims of the shooting.

The gay nightclub was the scene of horrific events in June 2016, when 49 people were murdered and 53 people injured in what was the worst shooting in US history at the time.

The victims were disproportionately LGBT and of Latino or Hispanic heritage.

The memorial crossing opened to the public Wednesday and has been visited by hundreds of locals already.

The venue has remained closed since the attack, with discussions about the future of the site.

After the clean-up of the scene concluded, a question mark remained over whether the club would re-open or be converted into a more permanent memorial to the victims.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer had led a campaign for the City of Orlando to take ownership of the site, making a formal bid to buy the club from its private owners.

However, the deal fell through when owner Barbara Poma backed out of the $2.25 million deal to sell the club to the city.

Ms 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 that she does not know yet whether she will keep the existing club building standing, but has pledged to create a “permanent memorial at the existing site of Pulse Nightclub.

She said: “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.”

More: US

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