Oklahoma City National Memorial - History
By National Park Service
Jan 27, 2005, 13:45

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Oklahoma City National Memorial honors the victims, survivors, rescuers, and all who were changed forever on April 19, 1995. Legislation establishing the Oklahoma City National Memorial (P.L. 105-58) was signed into law by President Clinton in October, 1997. The Oklahoma City National Memorial Trust was organized to create a permanent memorial on the site of the bombing in Oklahoma City to honor those who died, those who survived and those changed forever on April 19, 1995. The Memorial is comprised of three distinct components. The Memorial, which consists of the following segments on 3.3 acres, can be visited:
  • The Gates of Time: These monumental twin gates frame the moment of destruction - 9:02 - and mark the formal entrances to the memorial.
  • Reflecting Pool: A shallow depth of gently flowing water soothing wounds, with calming sounds and peaceful setting for quiet thoughts.
  • Field of Empty Chairs: The 168 chairs stands as a poignant reminder of each life lost, articulated as the absence felt by family members and friends.  
  • Children's Area: A wall of hand-painted tiles sent to Oklahoma City in 1995 by children illustrates their care. in addition, a series of chalkboards creates an opportunity for children to share their feelings - an important part of the healing process.  
  • Rescuers Orchard: Like those who rushed in from far and near to lend a helping hand, this army of fruit and flowering bearing trees surrounds and protects the Survivor's Tree.  
  • The Survivor's Tree: The Survivor's Tree, an American Elm, bears witness to the violence of April 19 and now stands as a profound symbol of human resilience.  
  • The Memorial Fence: The Memorial Fence continues to display items left by visitors, which are dedicated to Family Members, Survivors, and Rescue Workers.  
The National Memorial Center and The Institute For The Prevention of Terrorism: The Memorial Center is open Monday through Saturday, 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.; Sunday, 1:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. The Museum Center is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Days.

The Oklahoma City National Memorial/National Park Service Partnership:
"This is an unprecedented joint partnership where a community is building a National Memorial so the world will remember."

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