Orlando leaders approved an interim memorial Monday for the Pulse nightclub site, until a permanent tribute can be built on the property.

Barbara Poma, owner of the nightclub, spoke for OnePULSE Foundation at the city council’s meeting. She showed an artist’s rendering of the proposal and described how the temporary memorial will pay tribute to the 49 victims and survivors of the June 12, 2016, Pulse massacre.

The foundation is raising funds to build a permanent memorial.

The interim site will be cleaned up to look less like a crime scene, Poma said. She said the Pulse sign will be wrapped with a polycarbonate material so visitors can leave messages that will be changed periodically. She also described a 4-foot offering wall, where people can leave flowers and messages in the memorial.

The interactive site will also include a survivor grove, message canvas, offering wall, orientation wall and an AstroTurf area where visitors can gather.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said that the city received approval to put in a rainbow-colored crosswalk on Esther Street, the side street near the nightclub. Dyer said the side street will be a better place for visitors to take photos, rather than on busy Orange Avenue

“The important thing about the permanent memorial is that victims and the public feel like they are part of the process,” Dyer said. “Part of the process is healing and participation.”

OnePULSE Foundation is holding its first Town Hall Forum tonight to seek public input about the permanent memorial. Poma said she did not have a time table for when the permanent memorial will be built.

“This is a very sensitive site for family members and survivors,” said Commissioner Patty Sheehan, who has sat on the task force discussing the permanent memorial. “This is the last place their children took their last breaths.”

About The Author

The youngest of seven children, Terry O. Roen followed two older brothers into journalism. Her career started as a reporter for the Orlando Sentinel, where she wrote stories on city and county government, schools, courts and religion. She has also reported for the Associated Press, where she covered the Casey Anthony and Trayvon Martin trials along with the Pulse massacre. Married to her husband, Hal, they have two children and live in Winter Park. A lifelong tourist in her own state, she writes about Central Florida’s growing tourism industry for Florida Politics and Orlando Rising.

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