ORLANDO, Fla. — In the days leading up to the third anniversary of the deadly Pulse nightclub shooting, lawmakers in Florida are pushing to make the site a national memorial.

U.S. Representatives Darren Soto and Stephanie Murphy joined community leaders and organizations Monday to announce legislation to designate Pulse as a federally-recognized national memorial. 

On June 12, 2016, 49 people were killed at the gay nightclub. The former nightclub being designated a national memorial would honor the victims, survivors, first responders and the LGBTQ community.

"The Memorial honors the lives of the 49 victims, survivors, and ensures no one ever forgets this tragedy," Soto wrote on Facebook. "It will also serve as a reminder of the remarkable way we all came together to heal and overcome hate."

Without federal protection, Soto said the former nightclub could be allowed to deteriorated or possibly be vandalized, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

The Sentinel said the designation also allows for grants, which are part of the effort to raise $50 million for the memorial and museum's design, maintenance and a scholarship fund.

More Pulse Coverage:

Pulse first responder wins appeal, will get disability after town rejected request

Photos: Pulse nightclub, 2 years later

Remembering Pulse: Exhibits, ceremonies, memorials and more events

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