ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orange County mayor on Monday hosted the inauguration of the Pulse Orlando nightclub shooting memorials collection and preservation at the history center.
Officials said the city is teaming up with the Orange County Regional History Center to preserve the public memorials at City Hall, Lake Eola Park, Lake Beauty at Orlando Health and Seneff Plaza at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and move them to the Orange County Regional History Center.
Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs said they want to preserve the items from Florida's weather as this is an important part of history because the thousands of items left represent Orlando's resilience.
Nearly 200 items have already been collected and more items will be collected slowly over the weeks to come. Officials say they want to leave the items up long enough for more people to bring items.
The history museum staff said they spoke to the Smithsonian Museum for advice on how to properly collect and memorialize the items.
"We’ve created a partnership with the Orange County Regional History Center to collect and preserve letters, notes, signs and other non-perishable tribute items from memorials at public locations throughout the city," Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said in a post on the city's website. "It is important that these items are protected for the victims, the families, the community and future generations."
On Friday, officials started collecting some of the non-perishable items that have been placed at Lake Eola and preserving them at the history center.
The items are being taken to ensure their protection and to facilitate preparations for one of the city's signature events for the community, Fireworks at the Fountain, officials said.
City officials also said that the flowers at the sites will be collected and organically turned into soil that will be used in gardens throughout the city.
It's not clear when the memorial at the history center will be finished.
Forty-nine people were killed and 53 were injured in the mass shooting at the club on South Orange Avenue near downtown Orlando on June 12.