June 27, 2020 at 9:26 am EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
House approves bill to designate Pulse nightclub a national memorial
The makeshift memorial at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., on May 31, 2020 (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday approved a bill that would designate the Pulse nightclub as a national memorial.

A press release that U.S. Reps. Darren Soto, Val Demings, and Stephanie Murphy released notes House Resolution 3094 “grants a federal designation honoring the 49 lives taken on June 12, 2016, as well as the survivors, first responders and the entire Central Florida community.”

Soto, Demings and Murphy are Democrats who represent Orlando in Congress.

“I am grateful that the House has passed our legislation to make the Pulse site a national memorial,” said Demings. “We will always honor the family, friends, and neighbors we lost that night. Today, the U.S. House moved forward legislation that will help to ensure that the memories of the victims will always be a part of our national identity and that they will never be forgotten.”

“Four years ago, we saw the atrocious and destructive nature of hatred plague our Orlando community when 49 lives were taken and 53 others were injured,” added Soto. “As we continue to honor the memory of those lost, I am proud to lead the fight with Congresswomen Val Demings and Stephanie Murphy to designate the National Pulse Memorial. Today, we remind the world that hate will never defeat love, grief can turn into strength and that a place of loss can become a sanctuary of healing. Together, we will continue to open minds and hearts. We will make the Pulse Memorial a national symbol of hope, love and light.”

The onePULSE Foundation, a group founded by Pulse owner Barbara Poma that is planning to build a permanent memorial, on Friday applauded he lawmakers who introduced HR 3094.

“Today, the House of Representatives passed a bill to recognize Pulse nightclub as a National Memorial Site, reminding the world that we will not let hate win,” said the onePULSE Foundation in a tweet.

June 12 marked four years since a gunman killed 49 people inside the nightclub during its Latino night.

The massacre at the time was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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