UPDATE: The owners of Pulse have backed away from their statement that the club will be turned into a memorial for the 49 attendees killed in June. "OOPS! Looks like we got the media’s pulse racing with an inadvertent Instagram posting that incorrectly stated the Pulse Nightclub was reopening as a memorial," said the owners (via Reuters.) "Pulse is NOT reopening as a memorial," the club's rep added in a statement.
The owners of the Pulse nightclub in Orlando have announced that the venue will reopen as a memorial to the 49 people killed in the June 12th massacre, the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
The onePULSE Foundation, created by the nightclub's owners in the aftermath of the terror attack that targeted the LGBT community, revealed on social media their plans for the Orlando site, the Associated Press reports. "You heard right! We will be reopening Pulse as a memorial for the 49 lives who were taken from us on June 12th," the foundation wrote. No date has been scheduled for the memorial's opening.
The foundation was initially established to "provide financial assistance to the victims affected by the attack at Pulse Nightclub." To further that goal, as well as raise money for the memorial, the foundation is encouraging the public to "text PULSE to 91999 to donate to the permanent memorial."
At the Democratic National Convention, Christine Leinonen, mother of Pulse victim Christopher "Drew" Leinonen, delivered a moving speech calling for improved gun safety measures following the shooting, which was committed by a man who legally purchased the assault rifles despite being placed on a terror watch list.
"It takes about five minutes for a church bell to ring 49 times," Leinonen said. "I know this because last month, my son Christopher, his boyfriend Juan, and 47 others were murdered in a club in Orlando."
Leinonen also told the Philadelphia convention and the millions watching at home, "I know common-sense gun policies save lives."