July 4 at the 9/11 Memorial
Our annual July 4 tradition continues Sunday, when volunteers will place 2,983 American flags in the engraved names on the 9/11 Memorial, in honor of those killed on September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993.
After a gunman stormed the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Fla., killing 49 and injuring another 68, owner Barbara Pomo turned to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum for guidance as she sought to memorialize the June 12, 2016 attack.
“As the property owner, my pain was different than those who lost friends, partners, or children," Pomo said. "No matter where I looked, I didn’t fit in anywhere, no one else sat in my shoes. I was it. I knew it could never be Pulse again – it should be a memorial. My first thought was, ‘I don’t know how to do this but there are people who do.’ And that’s what led me to reach out. Ever since, no matter how big or small my questions, the 9/11 Memorial has been happy to provide information and support. All of a sudden I was in this community I never expected to be a part of.”
On June 25, Pomo – who went on to establish the onePULSE Foundation – saw that goal come to life when the White House signed a bill officially designating the spot as a national memorial.
On its web site, the foundation said, “It is so meaningful to everyone – the families of the 49, survivors, first responders, and all the lives affected – that our federal government recognizes the depth of the tragedy of Pulse. It’s also a clear and lasting message to the LGBTQ+ community that what happened at Pulse matters and will never be forgotten, and that we will always outlove hate.” Read their full response here.
As an institution, the 9/11 Memorial & Museum is often consulted by victims’ families, catastrophe survivors, and localities wishing to memorialize and heal from tragic events, including Newtown, Conn., Boston, Mass., the city of Paris, and the country of Norway. In the wake of the Pulse attack, Orlando was chosen as a 2016 Survivor Tree seedling recipient. Learn more about our Survivor Tree Seedling program here.
By 9/11 Memorial Staff