Orlando Mayor Announces Intent To Build Permanent Memorial Honoring Pulse Shooting Victims

Selina Leavitt - Author

Jun. 25 2016, Updated 5:35 p.m. ET

The Pulse shooting in Orlando has become known as one of the deadliest mass shootings in the nation’s history.

On June 12, the nation watched in horror as facts about the shooting began to be reported. The victim count started low and began to rise at a steady pace until the mayor of Orlando, Buddy Dyer, was forced to announce that there were not just a couple of dozen that lost their lives in the shooting, but nearly 50.

“And it is with great sadness that I share, we have not 20, but 50, casualties,” Dyer explained to news sources, before 11am on the day of the Pulse shooting, according to NBC affiliate WESH 2 News.

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The majority of the nation put aside their differences for that one day in order to mourn the innocents lost in the tragic shooting. The sexuality of the victims didn’t matter; all that mattered was that an entire community was affected due to the hatred of a lone gunman.

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“The first thing I did [that day], I have a 26-year-old son who lives here in Orlando. So I called him and fortunately, he answered the phone. And I said, ‘Where are you?’ And he said, ‘I’m home in bed,’ and I said, ‘Good,'” Dyer told WESH 2 News.

Mayor Dyer went on to tell the station why he decided to be the one to announce the grim facts of the shooting to the public.

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“I thought it was important that the mayor, not the FBI, go out there and reveal the reality, and the totality of the situation. Going out and having to say it’s not 20, it’s 50, I had to take a pretty big breath and a deep gulp to get that out. I know my voice was shaking when I was doing that.”

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Since that day there have been many a memorial image created on social media to honor those lost in the tragic shooting. Some of those images feature a rage against guns or Muslims, while others simply list the names of the victims and plead for the public to remember or pray for them. Regardless of political alignment, people are still building a web of memorial pleas throughout the nation.

The mayor of Orlando has been listening.

Mayor Buddy Dyer intends to erect a permanent memorial dedicated to the 49 souls that were lost on June 12.

A statement from the city of Orlando told CBS Miami Local that a committee would be assigned to oversee an “open and transparent” process during the creation of the permanent memorial.

The permanent memorial will include everything collected from each memorial that exists throughout the city. Letters, notes, signs, gifts, and other items left at each temporary memorial will be preserved and added to the permanent memorial. The city intends to involve the families of the victims and the community in their decision-making and design of the permanent memorial.

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It has been difficult for Mayor Dyer to pinpoint an exact timeline for the completion of the permanent memorial. He’s urged people to remember that the kind of work that goes into the creation of a memorial honoring lost lives is sensitive and difficult. Families and the community will have to find ways to agree on how to best pay tribute to the victims and the survivors.

It’s not always an easy road.

The Orlando Sentinel reminded the public that the permanent memorial honoring the 20 victims of the Sandy Hook tragedy is still in the process of being created, more than three years later.

Mayor Buddy Dyer issued a statement to the press explaining the permanent memorial and requesting patience as it’s built, according to TIME.

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“As our community continues to heal from this tragic event, we stand committed to creating a permanent space that will preserve the memory of those who lost their lives, provide comfort to those who seek it and honor the spirit and love of our great city. We have learned from other communities that have experienced such great loss that this process will take time and should not be rushed.”

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[Photo by AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File]


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