WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Senate passed a bill Wednesday to make Pulse nightclub in Orlando a national memorial.

U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) announced the passage on Twitter, saying the National Memorial will "honor the 49 innocent lives that were taken from us that terrible day."

The bill's passage comes just days before the fifth anniversary of the June 12, 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting that left 50 people dead, including the shooter, and dozens wounded. 

The U.S. House passed the bill on May 12. 

Rep. Darren Soto (D-FL) was the sponsor of the original bill, H.R. 49, and was joined by 18 other cosponsors in the House, including Reps. Val Demings (D-FL) and Charlie Crist (D-FL).

In a post on Twitter, Demings said the memorial "will serve as a national symbol of hope, love and unity."

When speaking in favor of the bill on May 12, Soto said the Pulse attack affected the entire world

"This horrific act of hate and terror against our LGBTQ and Latino community, African-American community and Anglo community could have divided us, but we came together stronger than ever," he said. "Orlando swore as a community to never forget those we lost that night. Their stories, their images, their memories, and their spirits must live on in our hearts.

"We were all there for vigils in Orlando, where the bell rang 49 times for those angels we lost, and I am honored to say, across this nation and all 50 states, and many countries, we saw vigils also recognizing it, which is why it is so critical that this is a national memorial, because it was truly a national and international tragedy."

U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, who was governor at the time of the terror attack, says he hopes the memorial will always be a tribute to the victims.

"It was a devastating day five years ago, for all of us in Florida, and around the nation. Today, I’m requesting all my colleagues to honor the memory of the 49 lives lost and come together to say that our nation will always hate and evil in this world," he said.

The bill now heads to President Joe Biden’s desk.

Reporter Dan Messineo contributed to this story


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