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People in 2018 visiting a memorial for the 49 victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

"Pulse Nightclub is hallowed ground," President Biden said on Saturday, the five-year anniversary of one of the deadliest mass shootings in modern American history that killed 49 people and wounded 53 more.

Driving the news: The Senate on Wednesday passed legislation that will officially designate the nightclub a national memorial.

What they're saying: Biden said in a statement he will sign the legislation in the coming days, "enshrining in law what has been true since that terrible day five years ago: Pulse Nightclub is hallowed ground."

  • "Within minutes, the Pulse nightclub that had long been a place of acceptance and joy turned into a place of unspeakable pain and loss," the president added.
  • "Forty-nine people were there celebrating Latin night were murdered, even more injured, and countless others scarred forever – the victims were family members, partners and friends, veterans and students, young, Black, Asian and Latino – our fellow Americans."
  • "A few days later, I traveled with President Obama to pay respects to them and their families, to thank the brave first responders and the community who found strength and compassion in each other, and to pledge that what happened would not be forgotten."
  • "Over the years, I have stayed in touch with families of the victims and with the survivors who have turned their pain into purpose, and who remind us that we must do more than remember victims of gun violence and all of the survivors, family members, and friends left behind; we must act."

The big picture: Biden called on the Senate to approve gun control bills passed by the House of Representatives and the Equality Act, which would prohibit discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

  • "It is long past time we ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines, establish extreme risk protection orders, also known as 'red flag' laws, and eliminate gun manufacturers’ immunity from liability."
  • "In the memory of all of those lost at the Pulse nightclub five years ago, let us continue the work to be a nation at our best – one that recognizes and protects the dignity and safety of every American," Biden said.

Go deeper

Updated Sep 11, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden attends wreath-laying ceremony at Pentagon

President Biden, first lady Jill Biden, Vice President Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff attend a wreath-laying ceremony at the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial on Sept. 11 in Arlington, Virginia. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

President Biden participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Pentagon on Saturday to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

The latest: Biden and first lady Jill Biden arrived at the Pentagon after visiting the Flight 93 memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and Ground Zero in New York City.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
4 hours ago - Health

FDA panel endorses shot of J&J booster for adults

Photo: Wolfgang Kumm/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Members of the Food and Drug Administration's vaccine expert panel on Friday unanimously endorsed a booster shot for adult recipients of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine at least two months after the initial dose.

Why it matters: The advisory committee raised concerns about a dearth of data to support their decision but ultimately decided to support an additional shot for those over 18.

Capitol Police officer indicted for obstructing Jan. 6 investigation

Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as people try to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6. Photo: Brent Stirton/Getty Images

A U.S. Capitol Police officer has been indicted on obstruction of justice charges for allegedly helping hide evidence of a participant's involvement in the Jan. 6 riot.

Driving the news: Officer Michael A. Riley, 50, is accused of telling the unidentified participant, referred to as "Person 1," in the Jan. 6 riot to delete posts from Facebook, which showed them in the Capitol during the attack.