President Joe Biden signed new legislation that has officially named Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub a national memorial.
Surrounded by LGBTQ+ politicians and activists, Biden signed the document and gave an emotional speech honouring the victims of the 2016 mass shooting.
“One last thing as I said to the survivors and those who lost folks a little earlier, you know what the Congress has done means a great deal and it’s important, but it’s really hard, it brings back everything as if it happened yesterday,” he explained.
“So I want to thank the folks that are here and the survivors that are here on Zoom with us, I want to thank them for their courage. I really mean it. But I promise you, none of the members of Congress here, neither I, neither Jill, are going to let us until we deal with equity across the board.”
The ceremony included photos of the 49 people who tragically lost their lives that night.
Alongside’s Biden speech, the onePulse Foundation also released a statement praising the president and the numerous political officials that introduced the bill.
“We want to recognize Representatives Darren Soto, Val Demings and Stephanie Murphy for sponsoring and introducing the bill and Senators Rick Scott, Marco Rubio and Alex Padilla for introducing the companion bill,” they said.
“We are thankful that members of the U.S. House and Senate passed the bills unanimously. It is so meaningful to everyone here, especially the families of the 49, survivors, first responders and all the lives affected, that our federal government recognises the depth of the tragedy of Pulse.
“It’s so clear and lasting message to the LGBTQ+ community that what happened at Pulse matters and will never be forgotten for future generations, and that we will always outlove hate.”
12 June 2021 marked the fifth anniversary of the life-changing massacre, which at the time was the deadliest mass shooting in US history.
Watch the emotional signing ceremony below.