LAKE MARY, Fla. - The United States Senate has passed a bill that officially designates the Pulse Nightclub site as a nationally recognized memorial.
Senator Rick Scott introduced and passed by unanimous consent the resolution recognizing the anniversary of the Pulse tragedy and honoring the 49 innocent victims.
A companion bill to the memorial legislation was led by Congressman Darren Soto in the U.S. House and passed the House by voice vote on May 13.
On June 12, 2016, 49 lives were taken and dozens more injured in the Pulse nightclub shooting.
"Nearly five years ago, our state, nation, the City of Orlando, and Hispanic and LGBTQ communities were attacked, and 49 innocent and beautiful lives were lost. It was an unspeakable tragedy. An evil act of terrorism designed to divide us as a nation and strike fear in our hearts and minds. But instead, we came together, and supported each other through heartbreak and darkness, to preserve and rebuild," said Sen. Scott.
"The terrorist attack at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub was a heinous act of violence and hatred against members of the LGBTQ community. Forty-nine innocent lives were lost on that horrific day," said Sen. Marco Rubio. "As the fifth-anniversary approaches, we must continue to honor the memory of those who were taken far too soon. And while work still remains to root out evil, I am inspired by Orlando’s continued resiliency, pride, and strength."
Following the tragedy, Pulse nightclub owner Barbara Poma established the nonprofit onePULSE Foundation to memorialize the tragedy.
While most national memorials are run by the U.S. National Park Service, the Pulse site will be fully controlled by the onePULSE Foundation.
onePULSE plans to build the National Pulse Memorial and Museum that will include the Orlando Health Survivors Walkway – slated to open in 2022 – on the site of the Pulse Nightclub and nearby properties.
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