Orlando, Florida’s Pulse nightclub—the site of a horrific mass shooting in 2016 directed at the LGBTQIA+ community—will be converted into a permanent memorial to honor the victims of the tragedy.
Last week, Orlando’s city council voted in favor of purchasing the unused nightclub property for $2 million.
A permanent public memorial will now be erected at the site where 49 people were killed and another 53 were wounded on June 12, 2016, replacing a temporary display that has honored victims ever since.
“In the interest of solving challenges in a way that brings our community together in love, acceptance and partnership, which is the enduring legacy of Pulse, we have decided to purchase the land from its current owners,” Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer wrote in a statement posted to X. “We believe that this is the best and most appropriate way to expedite the creation of a proper memorial for the Pulse tragedy.”
Dyer went on to say that the planning of the memorial will be a collaborative effort with the families of the victims, in order to “ensure there is a memorial at the Pulse site that honors the victims, those impacted by the tragedy and pays tribute to the resiliency of Orlando.”
Plans to build a memorial have been in the works for a number of years, largely spearheaded by the nonprofit onePulse Foundation. Earlier this year, the organization announced that its initial plans for a $100 million memorial would be downsized due to fundraising challenges.
In response to the city’s purchase of the site, onePulse shared a statement that reads:
“We are thankful to the City of Orlando for ensuring that the National Pulse Memorial will be located at the Pulse nightclub site, which was always the hope of families of the 49 victims and the Pulse-impacted community. We look forward to being a part of the discussion with the City of Orlando as this moves forward.”
Featured image credit: John Raoux / The Associated Press.