The onePulse Foundation, which is managing the planning and design of a permanent memorial and museum on the site of the now closed nightclub, debuted the interim monument in an emotional ceremony attended by Pulse survivors, first responders and victims’ loved ones.
The site includes interactive wall exhibits, lighted benches and a steel fence where visitors can leave messages and mementos. The now iconic Pulse sign remains in place, and an adjacent fountain that was badly damaged by gunfire in the attack nearly two years ago has been restored.
Pulse owner Barbara Poma, who now serves as the executive director of the onePulse Foundation, called the interim memorial “a true testament to how people continue to respond.”
“It is just utterly heartwarming how everyone still wants to be a part of what happens here,” she said, according to a press release. “Orlandoans truly love their city, their people, their family.”
She stressed that the current design is intended to be temporary, adding, “It is our legacy for all future generations. This is part of both Orlando and world history, and it’s going to take all of us to get it done right.”
Democratic state Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith echoed that sentiment, telling The Orlando Sentinel, “As a gay Latino man who lives here in Orlando, there’s no way that this tragedy couldn’t have been deeply, deeply personal for me. We can’t forget what happened here on the darkest day of our city’s history.”
The public got its first look at renderings for the interim memorial in February, and construction on the site began that month. It’s intended to be in place for up to two years, with three possible one-year extensions.