Ahead of the third anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting, Florida representatives Stephanie Murphy (D), Val Demings (D) and Darren Soto (D) are introducing legislation that would establish Pulse nightclub as a federally recognized National Memorial Site.
H.R. 3094 would grant a federal designation honoring the 49 lives that were taken at the night club. It would also honor the survivors, the first responders, and the entire Central Florida community.
In a press conference at the Pulse Interim Memorial, the three reps shared their thoughts on the legislation.
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Demings commented that “a community is not brick and mortar, it is the lives of its people, the dreams of its children, and the memory of those we’ve lost.” She added that “our strength flows from those memories, which cement the bonds of our common humanity and unite us in shared history.”
Murphy expressed that “it’s important we remember the love that the 49 victims and their loved ones brought into this world, which will always be stronger than the hate that stole their loves on that day. By designating the site as a National Memorial, we will honor their memories, be inspired by their legacies, and recognize the positive contributions the LGBTQ community offers to the world.”
Soto echoed in their remarks, describing that “the Memorial will serve as a reminder of the remarkable way our community came together to heal and overcome hate.” He added that it’s important to “recognize the need to preserve LGBTQ historic sites, because of cases like the Matthew Shepard Memorial which have been deliberately destroyed over time without these protections,” saying that it will “become a symbol of hope, love, and continued light for our community.”
After the tragedy, Barbara Poma, the Pulse nightclub owner, established the onePULSE Foundation, which is an educational nonprofit that memorialized the tragedy and ensured that the night club’s legacy of love, acceptance and hope will never be lost.
Speaking on the matter, Poma shared that “in these times when acts of hate and violence are on the rise, we msut remember our past and work to do better now and in the future.”