Orlando’s onePULSE Foundation has created a memorial dedicated to the victims of the June 2016 Pulse Nightclub massacre.
The memorial, which will serve as an temporary fixture until the foundation finds an architect to design a permanent memorial and museum, opened to this public this afternoon. Before the public launch, members of the foundation came together with survivors, first responders, local leaders, and families of victims to honor the 49 lives lost to anti-LGBT gun violence during the shooting.
In her remarks, foundation director Barbara Poma explained that every component of the memorial—including panels honoring each of the victims—is purposeful, and speaks to the community’s incredible resilience in the face of tragedy.
“I know we all reflect on the way our Orlando community responded immediately after the tragedy, but this interim memorial is a true testament to how people continue to respond,” Poma added. “It is just utterly heartwarming how everyone still wants to be a part of what happens here. Orlandoans truly love their city, their people, their family.”
The onePULSE Foundation plans to begin its search for an architect to design the permanent memorial this July.
The interim #Pulse Memorial finally opened to the public today. Many thanks to everyone in the community who came together and worked so hard to make this a reality. #OrlandoStrong pic.twitter.com/85kDYmLnE6
— Sam Gallaher (@samwell224) May 8, 2018
When it took place, the Pulse massacre was the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. A vast majority of the 49 victims were openly LGBT—and, since the shooting took place on the club’s Latin Night, many were Latinx or people of color. Since the massacre, a number of memorials and tributes have popped up around the country.