A national memorial to honor lives lost at the Pulse nightclub

By: - June 16, 2021 4:31 pm

The location of the 2016 Pulse Nightclub shooting. Credit: Wikipedia.

Days following the five-year anniversary of the Pulse shooting, where 49 people were killed and 53 wounded, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signed  legislation Wednesday to designate the National Pulse Memorial, located at 1912 South Orange Avenue in Orlando.

The legislation will be sent to Joe Biden for approval.

Pelosi referred to the bill signing as a “privilege, honor and sad duty.” She said that the Pulse nightclub was a “peaceful haven” where many young people from the LGBTQ community could enjoy dancing, music and a sense of unity.

“Our hearts break again thinking how this sanctuary of safety and solidarity was violated by this horrific act of hatred, leaving a behind unimaginable pain in the Orlando community,” Pelosi said at a Wednesday press conference at the U.S. Capitol.

She was joined by some members of the U.S. House of Representatives from the Central Florida area, including Reps. Val Demings, Rep. Stephanie Murphy and Rep. Darren Soto.

U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, who was the Florida governor when the Pulse mass shooting occurred, sponsored a Senate version of the bill, though he did not appear alongside Pelosi and the Florida House members. The U.S. Senate also approved the initiative.

Soto, in the U.S. House, sponsored the original legislation to commemorate Pulse as a national memorial, but Pelosi also acknowledged Demings and Murphy as contributors to making the legislation possible.

She also acknowledged a Florida LGBTQ activist named Brandon Wolf, who is a survivor of the Pulse shooting and works with Equality Florida, an advocacy group which works to support LGBTQ equality.

In a tweet, Wolf responded by thanking Pelosi and adding: “May our hallowed ground stand as a reminder of our collective obligation to resist violence, bigotry, and hate. And to honor the victims with action.”
Pelosi called for policies to curtail gun violence, such as enhancing background checks on gun sales, during the Wednesday press conference.

“In this mission, we are strengthened by the memories of those we lost at Pulse, and all of the lives stolen by this epidemic,” Pelosi said.

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Danielle J. Brown
Danielle J. Brown

Danielle J. Brown is a 2018 graduate of Florida State University, majoring in English with a focus in editing, writing, and media. While at FSU, she served as an editorial intern for International Program’s annual magazine, Nomadic Noles. Last fall, she fulfilled another editorial internship with Rowland Publishing, where she wrote for the Tallahassee Magazine, Emerald Coast Magazine, and 850 Business Magazine. She was born and raised in Tallahassee and reviews community theater productions for the Tallahassee Democrat. She spends her downtime traveling to all corners of Florida and beyond to practice lindy hop.