"This Must and Will Be a Healing Initiative"
Pulse owner Barbara Poma announced Thursday that the site of the nightclub massacre will become a permanent memorial and museum to honor both the lives lost and saved on June 12, 2016.
The shooting, an anti-gay hate crime which claimed the lives of 49 people and left 68 more injured, remains the worst terror attack on American soil since 9/11 and the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
"This is an important day for all of us," she said. "We have come so far in these eleven months. Finally, I can say that I'm finding hope and inspiration by being back here at Pulse... today, I'm able to share with you what I believe is news that will help in our mission of healing."
"Like all of you, it isn't easy for me to stand on this site," Poma continued. "What began as a place for fun and joy is now sacred ground. For nearly thirteen years, Pulse served as a place of love and acceptance for the LGBT community, and it should've been the last place for such a tragedy."
Poma recognized and thanked city officials for their service and leadership during and after the tragedy, as well as the families of victims and survivors. She also discussed the club's founding, done so in honor of her late brother John, who died of complications from HIV/AIDS in 1991, to honor his legacy and the legacy of his community.
"I now know that my role is to ensure that Pulse becomes a place of healing," Poma declared, announcing the establishment and activation of the onePULSE Foundation. She further detailed that the foundation will fund the support and maintenance of a permanent memorial, community grants to care for the survivors and victims' families, and scholarships in the names of each of the 49 victims.
"This must and will be a healing initiative," Poma said, calling for people to reflect on the day of the tragedy. "We must never forget the true focus of the project - we will not let hate win. We will ensure that no one of this generation, and the generations of those to come, will ever forget what happened here."
The full press conference can be seen here. Below, out television personality Andy Cohen discusses the foundation and its efforts:
â€” onePULSE Foundation (@onePULSEorg) May 4, 2017
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