Before signing a bill Friday designating the Pulse nightclub as a national memorial, President Joe Biden paused to first offer solace to those affected by the building collapse in Miami earlier this week.
Biden, who spoke from a signing table surrounded by some of the Pulse nightclub survivors, acknowledged the common bonds of grief they all shared.
“The people who are here, who are part of what happened that night at the Pulse nightclub ... they understand what it’s like,” he said. “There’s nothing worse than having to wait and wonder what happened.”
The president said he’s spoken with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and members of the state’s congressional delegation regarding the partially collapsed condominium, and that he’s pledged to provide the necessary federal resources to facilitate recovery efforts.
“It’s a tough, tough time” for people awaiting news about those who are still unaccounted for, Biden added. “Our heart goes out to them.”
He then pivoted to lament the night roughly five years ago when a shooter entered Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, and killed 49 people.
In that moment, “a place of acceptance and joy became a place of unspeakable pain and loss,” the president said. “In their memory, and for the countless others forever scarred, is why I sign this today.”
“May no president ever have to sign another monument like this,” he said in closing.