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Applications for the Pulse Memorial Advisory Committee are being accepted

ORLANDO, Fla. – Just days after applications opened, Orlando officials have already received 32 application forms from people interested in joining the Pulse Memorial Advisory Committee, which consists of 10 to 15 members who will develop ideas for the design of a permanent memorial.


What you need to know

  • Orlando authorities say they have already received 32 forms from people who want to join the Pulse Memorial Advisory Committee.
  • The group of 10-15 people will help decide what the monument will look like in the future
  • Jorshua Hernandez, a survivor of the Pulse nightclub shooting, says they were one of the petitioners and said: “I am part of this tragedy. I know the real story.”

Even though eight years have passed, Jorshua Hernandez, who was shot on June 12, 2016, still bears emotional and physical scars. Hernandez says he was one of many who locked themselves in the bathroom.

But since then, survivors like Hernandez and the families of the victims have been waiting for a permanent memorial. The temporary memorial at the site of the Pulse nightclub is showing signs of wear and tear. The temporary memorial was not planned to remain in place for so long.

Instead, the onePULSE Foundation promised to build a permanent memorial after the shooting. However, that memorial was never built because onePULSE disbanded last year, despite the nonprofit's years of fundraising.

“Where did the money go? What did they do with the money?” Hernandez said.

The city of Orlando decided to purchase the site and promised to lead the planning for the memorial itself.

On Friday, city officials announced they will form an advisory committee for the Pulse Memorial. The 10-15-member group will help decide what the memorial will look like in the future. Applications are now open at pulseorlando.org, and Hernandez said he has already applied.

“I want to be on the committee,” he said. “Because I am part of this tragedy. I know the real story.”

Orlando authorities say they are working to ensure the committee and any other outside input are as accessible as possible to Spanish speakers.

But after all these years of back and forth, after numerous meetings and discussions about the plans for a memorial, people like Hernandez can't help but be cautious with their hopes.

Hernandez wishes he could witness the groundbreaking for a memorial now, rather than waiting like he did for so many years ago. But even after so long a wait, the trauma of the events of June 12, 2016, still feels just as vivid as it did then.

“Eight years (feels) like yesterday,” he said.

Anna Harden

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