Orlando to make Pulse nightclub a memorial for victims of homophobic mass shooting

today27/10/2023 1

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Florida nightclub Pulse, the site of a homophobic mass shooting in 2016, has been bought by the City of Orlando with the intention to make it a memorial for the victims.

Pulse had been running as gay bar and nightclub in Orlando since 2004, before it was the site of a deadly shooting on the night of June 12, 2016.

Omar Mateen, aged 29, shot and killed 49 people and wounded 68 more before police officers fatally shot him after a three-hour standoff. The attack was deemed a terrorist attack by the FBI, with Mateen swearing allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State in a 9-1-1 call shortly before the shooting began.

Orlando city commissioners made a unanimous vote to purchase the property for $2 million on October 23. The building had been subject of a bid from the city several years ago, however Barbara Poma, Pulse’s then-owner, declined to sell the property. Instead she decided to fundraise for her own charity fund, onePULSE Foundation.

onePULSE Foundation is a non-profit organisation that was established in the aftermath of the 2016 tragedy, with the aim “to create a sanctuary of hope and honour and preserve the legacy of the 49 people killed, 68 injured and countless others who were affected.”

Barbara Poma was succeeded as executive director by Deborah Bowie in May 2022, as Poma pivoted her focus to the Foundation’s national fundraising efforts.

Bowie told Resident Advisor that onePULSE were “thankful to the City of Orlando for ensuring that the National Pulse Memorial will be located at the Pulse nightclub site”, noting that it “was always the hope of families of the 49 victims and Pulse-impacted community.”

Alongside the memorial, there will be a complementary musuem and education center one third of a mile from the nightclub. A survivor’s walk will also be implemented, tracing the three-block journey many of the victims and first responders took to get to the Orlando Regional Medical Center on the night of the tragedy.

You can donate to the onePULSE Foundation here

Tibor Heskett is Mixmag’s Digital Intern, follow him on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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