never forget

US Senate passes bill to make Pulse a national memorial

The Pulse Memorial in Orlado, Florida
Photo: OnePULSE Foundation

The US Senate on Wednesday passed a bill to designate the site of the Pulse nightclub as a national memorial.

Senator Rick Scott (R) introduced the senate bill. It recognizes the anniversary of the shooting, in which 49 innocent lives were lost. The tragedy, in which a gunman targeted an LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando, unfolded in the early hours of June 12, 2016.

A companion house bill was led by Rep. Darren Soto (D) and passed in the House on May 12.

Soto took to Twitter to thank people for supporting the legislation in the Senate.

Speaking of the resolution, Senator Scott said, “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.”

Related: The Pulse massacre is remembered in Orlando through memorials to 49 victims

The resolution was passed with unanimous consent.

Senator Marco Rubio (R), said, “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. As the fifth-anniversary approaches, we must continue to honor the memory of those who were taken far too soon.”

The official Twitter account for Pulse Orlando said, “We are thrilled that the U.S. Senate passed the bill designating Pulse nightclub as a national memorial. The unanimous consent is such welcome news as we are set to mark the five-year remembrance of the Pulse tragedy. This recognition means so much to the LGBTQ+ community.”

Similar legislation was introduced by Floria Reps. Soto, Val Demings, and Stephanie Murphy last year but languished in the Senate. On that occasion, the bill asked for Pulse to become part of the National Park System. The 2021 legislation does not ask for it to become part of the National Park System, and it will not receive federal funds.

Instead, it will be wholly looked after by the onePULSE Foundation, which was set up by Pulse owner Barbara Poma following the tragedy.

onePULSE is in development to build the Pulse memorial and museum, which is scheduled to open in 2022. Initial plans for the museum were released in 2019.

Related: Winning design for Orlando’s Pulse Memorial and Museum announced