ORLANDO, Fla. – For the first time since the pandemic began, the Orange County Regional History Center is opening an exhibit to honor and remember the lives lost during the Pulse nightclub shooting and the community response that followed the tragedy.
Patty Grant, a woman who visited the exhibit, said it’s hard to believe it’s been five years since the Pulse nightclub shooting.
“Every year I think it’s important to remember and every year we come down to the history center to see how they memorialized it,” Grant said.
Jeremy Hileman with the One Orlando Collection said the story of that day and the days that followed are now on display at the Orange County Regional History Center.
“The exhibit sort of showcases the timeline and story of Pulse from its earlier concept to present day, five years after the tragedy,” Hileman said.
The exhibit is called “Community: Five Years After the Pulse Tragedy.” It features tributes left at memorial sites, as well as focuses on how Orlando and the world came together following the shooting.
“I hope that especially this year they understand how the community response was such an important part of the story and we want to tell that and give a hopeful feeling that people whatever positive can come out of such a terrible situation,” Hileman said.
For the first time, the story includes what the club was like before the tragedy. The exhibit features artifacts that shows how it was a home to many.
“You always think of it as a place where murders happened, but no it was really a fun place, a very special place for people to gather and I’m glad that the exhibit covered that this year,” Grant said.
Last year, the museum’s exhibit was virtual because of the pandemic. Hileman said this is the first time many can come together safely to honor the victims and remember how Orlando united through tragedy.
“Everybody really depended on each other, and I love that those photos conveyed that,” Grant said.
The exhibit is open through Aug. 15. The museum is offering free admission to guests from June 5 through June 13.