Joe Biden has promised that he will sign a bill designating the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida as a national memorial “in the coming days”.
The president of the United States issued his commitment as the world marked the fifth anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting, which remains the deadliest attack on the LGBT+ community in American history.
In a statement released on Saturday (12 June), Joe Biden said the Pulse nightclub was “a place of acceptance and joy” for Orlando’s LGBT+ community before the horrific massacre, which left 49 dead and 53 others wounded.
The events of 12 June 2016 turned Pulse – a local gay club – into “a place of unspeakable pain and loss” as those celebrating a Latin night were brutally murdered, Biden said.
A few days after the shooting, Biden – who was then serving as vice-president of the United States – travelled to Orlando with Barack Obama to pay his respects to those killed and their families.
There, he paid tribute to the “brave first responders and the community who found strength and compassion in each other” and pledged that the massacre “would not be forgotten.”
“Over the years, I have stayed in touch with families of the victims and with the survivors who have turned their pain into purpose, and who remind us that we must do more than remember victims of gun violence and all of the survivors, family members, and friends left behind; we must act,” Biden wrote.