Group Opposes Museum for Pulse Nightclub Massacre

Members of the Community Coalition Against a Pulse Museum said the nightclub should be torn down and the nightclub’s owner should not build a private museum. / Reporting MIKE SCHNEIDER

Must Read

America’s Influence, Once so Dominant, Waning under Trump

Three years into Donald Trump’s presidency, America’s global influence is waning.

A group of survivors and family members of those killed in a mass shooting at Florida nightclub have formed an organization to oppose the building of a private museum to honor the victims.

Members of the Community Coalition Against a Pulse Museum said the nightclub should be torn down and the nightclub’s owner should not build a private museum. Any memorial should be constructed on public property, and any money raised for the museum should be channeled to survivors, they said.

“Put people first,” the group said on its website . “We care more about our survivors than educating tourists.”

The nonprofit raising money for a Pulse memorial and museum said it is using as a model those built to commemorate the Oklahoma City bombing and the Sept. 11 attacks.

- Advertisement -

“We respect the thoughts and opinions of everyone in the community who was affected by this tragic event and are taking them all into consideration on how we move forward,” the onePulse Foundation said in a statement.

The foundation hopes to raise more than $40 million to build the memorial and museum. The memorial will be at the nightclub’s location and the museum will be several blocks away. The memorial will be free and the museum will charge a small admissions fee, according to the foundation.

The mass shooting at the gay nightclub in Orlando killed 49 patrons and injured dozens more three years ago. Gunman Omar Mateen died in a shootout with police.

- Advertisement -

At an event commemorating the third anniversary last June, the mother of one of those who died interrupted the ceremony with shouts aimed at onePulse Foundation’s CEO, Barbara Poma, who owned the nightclub. After the ceremony, Poma said, “Christine is a grieving mom. Everyone does it differently, and this is a rough week for every mother, every survivor and every first responder.”

Christine Leinonen blamed Poma for inadequate security at the nightclub. Leinonen and other family members and survivors have sued Poma and her husband for negligence. Leinonen has started a petition asking the Orlando City Council to stop onePulse Foundation’s efforts to build the museum and memorial, saying it’s “not a mockery, a place to gawk and line pockets. Not an Amusement Attraction.”

Scores of people visit the closed nightclub each day to lay flowers or write messages on a fence. Other survivors and family members are backing the proposed memorial and museum and have attended onePulse Foundation events.

“I think it’s a great idea,” said Daphne Josaphat, whose nephew, Jason Josaphat, died at Pulse. “It has given us a place to go to continue grieving. It’s something that’s going to be there even after I’m gone. My kids will be able to see it and their kids will be able to see it.”

OnePulse Foundation has also attracted some powerful supporters. Its board includes pop singer Lance Bass and former NBA player Jason Collins, as well as the president of Walt Disney World. An advisory board is made up of leaders of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, the 9/11 Memorial and Museum and the Oklahoma City Memorial and Museum.

A 2018 tax return made public this month by the onePulse Foundation showed it had revenue of $1.6 million and that Poma earned a salary of $109,000.

Survivors Opposes Museum for Pulse Nightclub Massacre

- Advertisement -

Today's video

Robert’s Got the Weirdest Fruits in Florida

Robert Moehling has a passion for weird tropical fruit and he grows most of what he sells.

Trending now

Watchdog Report: FBI’s Russia Probe Justified, no Bias Found

The report's nuanced conclusions deny a clear-cut vindication for Trump’s supporters or critics.

Pensacola Shooter Was Saudi Aviation Student

The assault, which left eight others injured, was the second at a U.S. Navy base this week.

Democrats Unveil Impeachment Charges to Remove the 45th President of the U.S.

The specific charges aimed at removing President Trump: Abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
- Advertisement -

More Articles Like This

- Advertisement -