With the third anniversary of the Pulse nightclub massacre on Wednesday, this week three members of the Florida congressional delegation brought out a proposal to turn the site into a federally recognized National Memorial Site.
At an event in Central Florida at the interim Pulse memorial, U.S. Reps. Val Demings, D-Fla., Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., and Darren Soto, D-Fla., announced on Monday that they would champion the bill to create the National Memorial Site.
On June 12, 2016, a terrorist killed 49 people and wounded 68 people at the Pulse nightclub which was popular with the LGBT community in Central Florida. Barbara Poma, the owner of Pulse, has launched the onePULSE Foundation “to memorialize the tragedy and ensure that Pulse’s legacy of love, acceptance and hope will never be lost” including building a museum slated to open in 2022.
“Our efforts to designate the Pulse Nightclub a National Memorial site honors the lives of the 49 victims and survivors, and ensures no one ever forgets this tragedy,” Soto said. “The memorial will serve as a reminder of the remarkable way our community came together to heal and overcome hate. We recognize the need to preserve LGBTQ historic sites, because of cases like the Matthew Shepard Memorial which have been deliberately destroyed over time without these protections. Let the Pulse Memorial become a symbol of hope, love, and continued light for our community.”
“The Pulse tragedy shook our community to its core and forever changed us. It’s important we remember the love that the 49 victims and their loved ones brought into this world, which will always be stronger than the hate that stole their lives on that day. By designating the site as a National Memorial, we will honor their memories, be inspired by their legacies, and recognize the positive contributions the LGBTQ community offers to the world,” said Murphy.
“A community is not brick and mortar, it is the lives of its people, the dreams of its children, and the memory of those we’ve lost,” said Demings. “Our strength flows from those memories, which cement the bonds of our common humanity and unite us in shared history. Forty-nine dreams were cut short on June 12th, 2016, and dozens still carry the scars of that terrible night. Yet through remembrance, we transform hate into love, and loss into strength. May Barbara Poma’s vision for a National Memorial allow us to remember the past and provide hope for the future.”
“Establishing the site of Pulse nightclub as a National Historic Site is an important step in honoring those who were taken and ensuring we as a nation remember what happened here on June 12, 2016. In these times when acts of hate and violence are on the rise, we must remember our past and work to do better now and in the future,” said Poma.
Soto introduced the bill last week and it was sent to the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee. Demings and Murphy are cosponsoring the proposal. So far, there is no version of the proposal over in the U.S. Senate.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org