More than two decades ago our community was forever changed and an unbreakable bond was forged among all Oklahomans. On that April day, 168 Oklahomans died when the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was bombed, in what was then the worst terrorist act on American soil. Hundreds more were wounded and more than 12,000 volunteers and rescue workers participated in rescue efforts, recovery and support.
Out of that act, the grief and the many acts of kindness from around the world that followed the bombing came the Oklahoma City National Memorial. The Outdoor Symbolic Memorial is a beautiful and serene park that rests between two gates etched with the minute before – 9:01 a.m. – and the minute after the attack – 9:03 a.m. In between the golden-hued gates are representations of what happened at 9:02, the minute the bomb went off – 168 chairs with each victims’ name, a reflecting pool and the Survivor Tree, an American elm that miraculously survived the blast and is still growing strong.
While you’re visiting, don’t miss the chance to tour the Memorial Museum. If you haven’t ever experienced the museum, or it’s been a while since you have, we can promise it’s something you won’t soon forget. Renovated with new interactive exhibits just last year, including ‘Investigation and Justice, survivor experiences and “Gallery of Honor” provide visitors a true sense of the magnitude of that fateful day and the search for justice that followed.
There’s even an app containing video and audio tours for the Outdoor Symbolic Memorial and Memorial Museum. Search OKCNM in the Apple App Store and in Google Play. Tickets for the museum are $15 for adults; $12 for seniors, military personnel and students ages 6-17; and free for children ages 5 and younger.