Contact: Speaker’s Press Office,
Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats held a bill enrollment photo opportunity today for H.R. 49, legislation to designate the National Pulse Memorial. Below are the Speaker’s remarks:
Speaker Pelosi. Good afternoon, everyone.
It is with very deep and mixed emotions that we come together, pleased that we will immortalize Pulse as a national memorial and take an important step to honor 49 beautiful souls who passed. That sadness is just – we carry with us constantly, but the excitement of making this a national memorial is a source of some satisfaction. We’re proud to be joined by Members of the Florida Delegation and the Co-Chairs of the LGBTQ Equality Caucus. We salute the relentless leaders here who, in part, have made this day possible. I especially want to acknowledge Congressman Darren Soto, Congresswoman Val Demings, Stephanie Murphy and Val Demings – I said Val – who made this legislation possible. Thank you for that. I also want to acknowledge Congressman Mike Thompson, who is the Chair of our Gun Violence [Prevention] Task Force. He’s not with – he’s in Committee, but it’s hard to be talking about ending gun violence without mentioning the Task Force.
Pulse was a peaceful haven, where mostly young, mostly LGBTQ Americans could enjoy music, dancing and celebration – a sense of community. Our hearts break again thinking of how this sanctuary of safety and solidarity was violated by this horrific act of hatred, leaving behind unimaginable pain in the Orlando community. Shortly after the shooting, I had the privilege – the solemn privilege – of traveling to Pulse to meet with the brave survivors and the families who lost ones and those who have established Pulse. Their message was a clear and simple one: “Stop the violence. Don’t let this happen to other people.”
While we are just joined by Members here, we are join livestream-wise by gun violence survivors from across the country, who take some satisfaction in this memorial. I particularly want to mention Brandon Wolf, a survivor of Pulse who lost his friends in the shooting.
Five years later, gun violence still plagues countless communities across the country. On average, 100 persons are killed a day. The pain in our communities endures, but our resolve to finally end the horrors of gun violence are as strong as ever. In this mission, we are strengthened by the memories of those we lost at Pulse and all of the lives stolen by this epidemic.
That is why the Democratic House passed the Bipartisan Background Checks Act and the Enhanced Background Checks [Act], again and again. We will not relent until these bipartisan – these are bipartisan – pieces of legislation become law, and we continue to call on all Members to join us. It is really for the survivors to know we are not going away until the job is done.
And, now, I have the privilege, honor and sad duty [to] sign the legislation to memorialize Pulse as a national memorial, thanks to the work of Darren Soto, Val Demings and Stephanie Murphy, as well as the Co-Chairs of the House [LGBTQ] Equality Caucus.
As you can see, we have Sharice Davids, Angie Craig, Congresswoman –
Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Congressman Darren Soto, Congressman – Mr. Chairman Mark Takano, Kathy Castor, David Cicilline, Val Demings, Stephanie Murphy, Charlie Crist, Mondaire Jones, Richie Torres – Mr. Torres. Where’d he go? And Chairman Sean Patrick Maloney. But, we represent all the Members who are with broken hearts, but pride for Pulse. So happy – if you can say happy – so pleased that this is happening in Pride Month.
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