Planners for Pulse memorial seek public input through 'community talks'

By Paula Machado, Reporter
Last Updated: Friday, January 26, 2018, 8:56 PM EST

Planners for an interim memorial at the Pulse shooting site are asking area residents for their input regarding a permanent memorial via a series of upcoming "community talks."

  • Construction on interim memorial to begin in February
  • One Pulse Foundation wants to hear input from the community
  • First meeting Jan. 27 at Orange County Library Alafaya Branch at 1:30 p.m.

In just a few weeks, construction will begin at the Pulse site on an interim memorial, according to Earl Crittenden, Chairman of the One Pulse Foundation Board of Trustees, the organization behind the memorial.

“We have so many people visiting already, so we want to make sure we pay respect to the 49 victims and their families while we plan the permanent national memorial,” said Crittenden.

This is where One Pulse Foundation is asking for the community to weigh in with what they’d like to see in the permanent memorial.

"Data in getting community feedback on what the memorial looks like in the public's eyes is the most important part of the process in building a national memorial," said Crittenden.

The foundation is holding several of what they call "community talks" all over town for the next couple of months to hear what residents have to say.

"Now we're in the hearing phase, we want to the public to really be heard," Crittenden said. "If they want to come and say, 'you know, we really want it to be a place of love,' then if that's what the numbers say, then that’s what the people said."

“It’s very important to have a place where we can come together, we can remember, we can mourn, if we can go there and cry, we’ll cry,” said Ricardo Negrón, survivor of the Pulse tragedy.

Negrón said some family members of the victims and survivors of the tragedy, have already expressed what they'd like to see by going to meetings and filling out surveys.

"I think it should be a place where people can reflect, honoring the victims; a place that gives hope to the community and that shows the resilience of the community and that shows how the community came together after what happened and continues working towards healing together," said Negrón.

The meetings are free to attend and will be held all over Central Florida.

“It’s open to everyone, it’s a place where you can listen, learn, speak, don’t speak, just the only thing we ask is come with love in your heart,” said Crittenden.

The first hour-long meeting will be held on Saturday, Jan. 27 at the Orange County Public Library, Alafaya Branch starting at 1:30 p.m. in Room 1.