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Senate approves bill to recognize Pulse shooting site as national memorial

The Senate on Wednesday passed a bill to designate the site of the June 12, 2016, mass shooting that killed 49 people at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., as a national memorial. File Photo by Gary I Rothstein/UPI
The Senate on Wednesday passed a bill to designate the site of the June 12, 2016, mass shooting that killed 49 people at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., as a national memorial. File Photo by Gary I Rothstein/UPI | License Photo

June 9 (UPI) -- The Senate on Wednesday passed a bill to nationally recognize a memorial for the victims of the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla.

The bill's authors, Reps. Darren Soto, D-Fla.; Val Demmings, D-Fla.; and Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., announced the decision to designate the site of the former gay nightclub where 49 people were killed in a mass shooting on June 12, 2016, as Pulse National Memorial.

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"This memorial will serve as a national symbol of hope, love and unity," Sanchez wrote on Twitter.

Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., who was Florida's governor at the time and sponsored the Senate version of the legislation, called the shooting "an unspeakable tragedy."

"An evil act of terrorism designed to divide us as a nation and strike fear into our hearts and minds," he said. "But instead, we came together and supported each other through heartbreak and darkness, to preserve and rebuild."

Commissioners in Florida's Orange County approved $10 million in funding through this year to help the non-profit onePULSE Foundation purchase land around the nightclub to construct a memorial and museum.

The new legislation states that while the Pulse Memorial will be designated as a national site, it will not be part of the National Park System and it will not make use of federal funds.

Wednesday's vote sends the bill to the desk of President Joe Biden, who was serving as vice president at the time of the shooting, for his signature.

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