Pulse nightclub terror attack: Two years on

The gun attack in 2016 was the worst US terror attack since 9/11

Pulse nightclub terror attack: Two years on

The onePULSE Foundation unveiled the Orlando nightclub's interim memorial in May 2018, designed to be a temporary tribute to the victims and survivors of the 2016 mass shooting | Image: TNS/SIPA USA/PA Images

Tuesday marks two years since 49 people were killed in a shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

The tragedy, at the Pulse nightclub, was the worst US terror attack since September 11th.

The nightclub, which has since closed, is to become a memorial to those killed.

Last year Barbara Poma, owner of the club, announced a community-driven initiative to establish a national memorial to the tragedy.

A board of trustees has been created for the onePULSE Foundation.

Ms Poma, who serves as CEO and executive director of the foundation, explained the effort to establish a national memorial will involve significant community engagement from volunteers including victims’ families and survivors.

"The community most impacted by this horrible event in our history should determine the future of the Pulse site and how their loved ones and the events of that day should be memorialised," she said.

Pulse nightclub owner and onePULSE Foundation founder Barbara Poma speaks during a dedication ceremony as the onePULSE Foundation unveiled the Orlando nightclub's interim memorial in May 2018 | Image: Red Huber/Zuma Press/PA Images

"I remain awestruck by how many people have stepped up and committed their hearts to this project.

"I am profoundly grateful to the members of the new board of trustees who have joined with me to guide the future of this project."

It is hoped the memorial will open sometime in 2020.

Meanwhile an interim memorial has been set up in the area.

Faces behind the names: Orlando nightclub victims remembered

There is an offering wall to leave flowers, viewing areas, a wall of photographs and a digital guestbook for people to sign.

The Pulse Nightclub sign is still there and has space underneath for people to write messages.

Omar Mateen opened fire in the nightclub on June 12th, 2016.

Authorities were investigating whether the American-born gunman was living a secret life as a gay man.

The FBI had been looking into reports from patrons of the club, who alleged he was a regular at the venue and also used gay dating apps.

In 2016, Jim Van Horn said he saw Mateen multiple times at the venue's bar and talked to him once.

"He was a homosexual and he was trying to pick up men," Mr Van Horn said.

"He would walk up to them and then he would maybe put his arm around them or something and maybe try to get them to dance a little bit or something."

Back in March, Mateen's window - Noor Salman - was cleared of lying to the FBI and helping her husband in the terror attack.

She could have faced life in prison if found guilty of the two charges of obstructing justice and aiding Mateen by providing material support to a terrorist organisation.

The verdict took three days of deliberation by the jury before they declared her not guilty of both counts.

Ms Salman was married to Mateen when he attacked the gay nightspot as he claimed allegiance to Islamic State.

The court decision meant no one has yet been held criminally responsible for the massacre.