Forty-nine people were killed during a mass shooting there in June
UPDATE: Pulse owners made an additional statement to say they are working toward reopening the nightclub as a memorial site, but that plans have not yet been set in stone. In a statement to Reuters, Pulse says that “inadvertent” social media posts containing false information were sent out over the weekend due to a miscommunication with their social media team. An updated post said the foundation would be fundraising for a memorial, without providing specifics.
EARLIER: Orlando’s Pulse nightclub will reopen as a memorial for the 49 people killed at the venue in the June 12 mass shooting, its owners announced via Facebook Sunday night.
The news was shared on the onePULSE foundation page, a nonprofit established in the aftermath of the attack to “provide financial assistance to the victims” and “contribute to the creation of a permanent memorial.” Its organizers hope the monument will “provid[e] a sanctuary of hope dedicated to the lives affected and taken by the tragedy,” according to an earlier post.
The statement comes on the heels of an impassioned speech from Christine Leinonen, mother of Pulse victim Christopher “Drew” Leinonen, during last week’s Democratic National Convention. She joined celebrities like Julianne Moore, Amy Schumer, and more in the call for improved gun control after the shooting, which was committed by a man who legally purchased the assault rifles despite being previously placed on a terror watch list.
“It takes about five minutes for a church bell to ring 49 times. I know this because last month, my son Christopher, his boyfriend Juan, and 47 others were murdered in a club in Orlando,” Leinonen said. “I’m glad common-sense gun policy was in place when Christopher was born, but where was that common sense the day he died?”
No date has been scheduled for the memorial’s opening. In an effort to raise money for the site, onePulse is encouraging the public to text PULSE to 91999 and donate.