Pulse memorabilia soon to be history; permanent memorial planning begins

Pulse memorials at Dr. Phillips Center

All the Pulse massacre memorabilia laid on the lawn of the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center in Orlando, all the expressions of grief, love and togetherness, soon will be history. Literally.

People will have one more weekend to see the remaining cards, pictures, flags, art and other expressions. But by Monday, the Orange County Regional History Center staff is to expected complete their efforts to carefully collect and archive all the non-perishable tribute items that have been placed at the Seneff Arts Plaza, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer‘s office announced Thursday.

The items will be catalogued and photographed prior to their long-term preservation at the Orange County Regional History Center, where they will become part of a permanent collection and display remembering the June 12 massacre at Orlando’s popular gay nightclub Pulse, and the unity that grief brought the community.

The gunman killed 49 and wounded 53 before police killed him during the early morning hours of June 12.

The history center staff already has collected and preserved 2,500 items from a variety of locations around the city, according to a news release from City Hall.

Dyer’s office also announced that slow, deliberate planning has begun for a permanent memorial, with what the city is pledging will be an open and transparent process that includes input from victims, families and the larger community.

Details including a timeline or a location have not been established.

“The city asks for patience as together we continue with this very sensitive and difficult work that will pay tribute to victims, survivors, families and our community,” the release stated.

“As we take this next step in the long healing process it remains important that these items are protected for the victims, the families, the community and future generations,” Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer stated in the release. “I look forward to working with our community on 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 are so honored for Orange County’s History Center to serve as the permanent caretaker and curator of the extraordinary memorial items that have been created in tribute to the innocent souls who perished at Pulse,” Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs added. “By cherishing these items, we honor the memory of all those impacted by this tragedy. By keeping history alive for future generations, we are showing the world that the Central Florida is a community in which diversity is viewed as a fundamental strength — a source of unity and celebration, not division. We are saying to the world that love wins, and that hate will not triumph.”

“The LGBT community thanks the History Center for their thoughtful and careful actions to preserve the world’s outpouring of support during this difficult time,” said Terry DeCarlo, executive director the GLBT Community Center of Orlando. “We want to make sure these items will be around so generations will be able to come and see how the world came together to support Orlando during this time of tragedy.”

The city also encouraged anyone who wants to help the victims of the Pulse tragedy and their families, to support the OneOrlando Fund. Funds collected will provide critical support directly to the victims’ families and survivors, many of whose lives have been changed forever as a result of the tragedy. To support the victims’ families and survivors, visit OneOrlando.org.

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected].


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704