Oklahoma City National Memorial -
OKC's #1 "Must Do" Attraction
The Oklahoma City National Memorial was dedicated on April 19th, 2000, which was the fifth anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing. The museum was dedicated on February 19th, 2001. The Memorial and the museum honor all the people that were affected by the April 19th, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal building in downtown Oklahoma City.
The people whose lives were changed include the 168 victims and their families, the more than 800 survivors from the building and surrounding area, and ultimately the citizens of Oklahoma City itself.
I know that I was changed by the bombing. My family banked at the Federal Employees Credit Union that was in the Murrah Building, so I was very familiar with both the building and some of the people that worked there.
I also worked a couple of miles from the Federal Building and heard the explosion and felt my workplace shake. My co-workers and I could see massive amounts of dust and paper blowing by. It is a moment in time that I will never forget.
The Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial has several well known features. The large twin bronze gates have the time before the explosion (9:01) engraved on one gate and the time after the explosion (9:03) engraved on the other gate.
The inscription,"We come here to remember those who were killed, those who survived and those changed forever. May all who leave here know the impact of violence. May this memorial offer comfort, strength, peace, hope and serenity." is on the outside of each gate.
The Reflecting Pool runs between the two gates.
There are 168 empty chairs made out of stone, glass and bronze that have the name of one of the victims etched on each of them. They stand in nine rows to represent each floor of the building.
The Survivor Tree is an American Elm that was severely damaged by the blast, but survived and is a living symbol for all the survivors of the bombing.
The Children's Area contains a wall that has some of the thousands of tiles that were painted by children and sent to Oklahoma City after the bombing. The rest of the tiles are in the Archives. There are also chalkboards and buckets of chalk for visiting children to express their feelings.
There is also a section of the original fence that protected the site after the bombing where people can still leave tokens of love and hope.
The Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum chronicles the bombing, the chaos and confusion right after the bombing, and the stories of the victims and survivors.
You can experience the work of the hundreds of rescuers and the anxious waiting of the victims' families.
You can also learn about the investigation after the bombing, the capture and trial of Timothy Mcveigh and the other conspirators, and the rebuilding and hope that has occurred in the community since the bombing.
After absorbing all that the museum has to offer, I often end up back at the Reflecting Pool. A visit to the Oklahoma City National Memorial always touches my heart and spirit.
620 N Harvey
Oklahoma City, OK
Toll Free 1-888-542-HOPE (4673)
Outdoor Symbolic Memorial Hours:
Open 24 hrs a day, 365 days a year.
Admission is Free
Memorial Museum Hours:
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM Monday - Saturday
1:00 PM - 6:00 PM Sunday
Senior (62+) $8
Student (6 - 17 or college student with current ID) $6
Children (5 and under) Free
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