The owner of the Pulse nightclub has announced plans to create a permanent memorial on the site of the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil by a single gunman, as “a sanctuary of hope” for the community.
The memorial will someday house a museum showcasing the artifacts and stories of the victims and survivors of the Pulse tragedy.
Barbara Poma opened Pulse in 2004 to honor of her brother, John, who died of AIDS in 1991. As CEO of the onePULSE Foundation, she will reveal plans May 4 on how donations collected since the June 12 tragedy will be used to honor the 49 murdered, the 68 injured victims and the first responders and healthcare professionals who treated them.
The onePulse fund will support the construction and maintenance of the memorial, community grants to care for survivors and victims’ families and endowed scholarships for each of the 49 angels.
“Pulse has always been a part of me, but after this tragedy which took 49 lives, it became a part of this community and the world,” Poma says in a statement. “When this event happened, I had no clue how expansive the love for Pulse was. It’s important that we as a community be mindful and take great care to preserve, honor and help heal.”
Poma described the memorial as “more than another community endeavor to us. This is a defining mission and healing initiative for those involved and we hope to find supporters who share our vision and understand the sacred responsibility to which we have been entrusted.”
The nightclub owner initially negotiated with the City of Orlando, which showed interest in buying the Orlando club. But in December, she backed out of the deal after some commissioners balked at the $2.25 million price tag.