Photos from the Pulse interim memorial unveiling ceremony

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After months of preparations, the onePulse Foundation unveiled an interim memorial at the gay nightclub Pulse on Tuesday morning to commemorate the 49 lives lost in the 2016 mass shooting.

The unveiling ceremony began with live music as over 300 people filled the outdoor site's fenced-in area. A 150-yard wall exhibiting photos of Pulse vigils and LGBTQ artwork formed a perimeter around the nightclub. With a large area of artificial turf, four new trees and a glass-like "offering wall" at the base of the Pulse sign, the site was a tightly groomed renovation of what used to be a single decorated fence facing the street.

"I'm glad that the community received it well, and that they found peace and a welcoming space," Pulse nightclub owner Barbara Poma said at the opening. "To have their space back, I think that's important for everyone."

Although the final, permanent memorial will be much different, the temporary site offered a peak into the progress being made by the onePulse Foundation and its board of trustees.

"The onePULSE Foundation opened a temporary interim memorial to the public today marking the first step toward creating a permanent memorial and museum to the June 12, 2016 tragedy," a statement from the Foundation read, introducing the exhibition "as a space for commemoration and reflection."

For Poma, the memorial's construction is an emotionally taxing process. "The construction committee and the board are still plowing forward on that process but we are taking it slowly," she said. "We want to do it right."

"It's something that's going to stay here with us long after we're gone. It's part of history.

- Joey Roulette

May 8, 2018 | Photos by Joey Roulette

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