On Thursday, Pulse Nightclub owner Barbara Poma announced the creation of a memorial for the club’s June 2016 shooting victims.
According to Poma, the details have yet to be finalized. She’s waiting on input from the community before the memorial takes shape. She has talked about a permanent memorial and museum and the potential for scholarships for the club’s victims.
“What began as a place for fun and joy is now sacred ground,” Poma told reporters. “We must never forget the true focus of the project. We will not let hate win.”
Pulse Nightclub has been closed since last summer’s attack. A fence surrounds the club, with brightly colored notes and banners around the building. Family and friends have left flowers, cards and other mementos in the parking lot as a tribute to the victims.
The Orlando Sentinel explained the area surrounding the club:
The entire area around Pulse, 1912 S. Orange Ave., was a crime scene for a week after the attack. But when the street reopened, the vacant black building quickly became a magnet for grief, vigils, flowers, artwork and impromptu memorials. Even now, more than 10 months later, people still visit daily.
“This must and will be a healing initiative, one that I believe will inspire supporters who share our vision and understand the sacred responsibility to which we have been entrusted,” Poma said.
The onePULSE Foundation, which Poma started, will oversee the project. The foundation was created to construct and maintain a memorial and provide grants to the victims and first responders who aided the injured.
Poma asked for advice from those who created memorials after the 9/11 attacks and the Oklahoma City bombings.
The foundation hopes to have the memorial constructed by 2020. As of now, the total cost is unknown.