(Photo Credits: Michael Rivera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)
In a unanimous decision on Monday, Orlando city commissioners voted to purchase the Pulse Nightclub property for $2 million. This move comes as part of the city’s plans to create a lasting memorial for the victims of the tragic Orlando nightclub shooting in 2016.
Orlando City Mayor Buddy Dyer has emphasized that this purchase is a crucial step in ensuring the establishment of a permanent memorial at the very location where the heart-breaking massacre occurred. He said thru an official statement released on X/Twitter:
“City Council approval to purchase the Pulse site is the first step to ensure a permanent memorial. While there may never be consensus among those impacted by the tragedy, input from victims’ families and survivors will be key to the process moving forward.”
A few days ago, the mayor explained the city will purchase the site to “expedite the creation of a lasting memorial to honour the 49 angels.” He added:
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.
We believe that this is the best and most appropriate way to expedite the creation of a proper memorial for the Pulse tragedy.
The $2 million price tag for the property is actually slightly lower than the offer made by the City of Orlando to the nightclub’s owners shortly after the tragic event that transpired seven years ago.
The decision to purchase the Pulse property arises from the city’s intervention, as the onePULSE Foundation had been in negotiations with the owners for a substantial duration but was unable to reach a favorable agreement. The foundation had even considered the construction of a sizable museum on the site.
With the City Council’s approval of a $2 million budget for the purchase of the Pulse property, the next steps and plans for the location will be determined in due course.
In response to this development, survivors and families of the victims have expressed their thoughts. One particular individual, a mother whose daughter survived the attack while her cousin tragically lost their life, questions why the nightclub’s owners did not opt to donate the property for the intended memorial.
Mimi Marquez, a family member of Pulse victims, said: “It hasn’t been about the actual tragedy itself. It seems like so many people are pulling in different directions because there is so much money involved.”
In addition, Commissioner Patty Sheehan said, “This has been horrible. This day has been difficult but we will do the right thing by everyone.” Sheehan, who had to face accusations alongside other city leaders from those who believed that they concealed potential code violations at the Pulse Nightclub prior to June 12, 2016 tragedy, added, “I can tell you right now the only way we are going to be able to move forward is to get possession of the property so we can build a proper memorial, which is what I have heard from day one from these families.”
The Pulse tragedy, also known as the Orlando nightclub shooting, was a horrific mass shooting that took place on June 12, 2016, at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, USA. The attack resulted in the deaths of 49 people and left dozens of others injured, making it one of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history at the time. This tragic event had a profound impact not only on the LGBTQ+ community but also on both the local community and the nation as a whole.