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Osceola plans ‘iconic’ art by Jefrë to honor Pulse victims

Pulse Nightclub site in Orlando.
Joe Byrnes
Central Florida Public Media
The Pulse Nightclub site in Orlando is shown in this October 23, 2023, file photo.

The tribute site will offer "solace and healing," according to the county. Many people connected to the Pulse tragedy have called Osceola County home.

Osceola County is planning artwork that will pay tribute to the 49 people slain in the Pulse Nightclub massacre nearly eight years ago.

At Monday's County Commission meeting, Chairwoman Cheryl Grieb said the county will unveil a design for the structure by celebrated public artist Jefrë during an event on June 12.

"I got in touch with him," Grieb said, "And he graciously volunteered his time to create an iconic piece of artwork that will pay tribute to the 49. It is not a memorial, the memorial is for up in Orlando where the tragedy occurred."

The city of Orlando is planning a permanent memorial there. The mass shooting occurred on June, 12, 2016, inside the LGBTQ+ Pulse Nightclub.

Grieb said she considered placing the "tribute" at NeoCity, but in the end she asked for -- and got -- commission approval for Brownie Wise Park.

"It's to me a much more tranquil setting," she said. "It's not going to be as commercialized. And you know, that's what the moms and the family members and such they're wanting. They're wanting somewhere to go and just to -- for themselves to pay tribute to those individuals."

The tribute site will offer "solace and healing," according to a county press release. "This is because so many people connected to the Pulse tragedy call Osceola County home – victims, survivors, and families. We have been deeply involved in providing assistance to all the Osceola victims from day one."

Joe Byrnes came to Central Florida Public Media from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.
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