Oklahoma City National Memorial

Last updated
Oklahoma City
National Memorial & Museum
St. Joseph's Old Cathedral from the Oklahoma City National Memorial.jpg
Oklahoma City National Memorial
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Location Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA
Coordinates 35°28′22″N97°31′2″W / 35.47278°N 97.51722°W / 35.47278; -97.51722 Coordinates: 35°28′22″N97°31′2″W / 35.47278°N 97.51722°W / 35.47278; -97.51722
Area3.3 acres (1.3 ha)
3.12 acres (1.26 ha) federal
Built1997–2001
Visitation350,000 per year [1]
Website Oklahoma City National Memorial
NRHP reference # 01000278 [2]
Added to NRHPOctober 9, 1997

The Oklahoma City National Memorial is a memorial in the United States that honors the victims, survivors, rescuers, and all who were affected by the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995. The memorial is located in downtown Oklahoma City on the former site of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, which was destroyed in the 1995 bombing. This building was located on NW 5th Street between N. Robinson Avenue and N. Harvey Avenue.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Oklahoma City bombing 1995 terrorist attack

The Oklahoma City bombing was a domestic terrorist truck bombing on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States on April 19, 1995. Perpetrated by Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, the bombing happened at 9:02 am and killed at least 168 people, injured more than 680 others, and destroyed one-third of the building. The blast destroyed or damaged 324 other buildings within a 16-block radius, shattered glass in 258 nearby buildings, and destroyed or burned 86 cars, causing an estimated $652 million worth of damage. Extensive rescue efforts were undertaken by local, state, federal, and worldwide agencies in the wake of the bombing, and substantial donations were received from across the country. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) activated 11 of its Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces, consisting of 665 rescue workers who assisted in rescue and recovery operations. Until the September 11, 2001 attacks, the Oklahoma City bombing was the deadliest terrorist attack in the history of the United States, and remains the deadliest incident of domestic terrorism in the country's history.

Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building former federal building that was bombed by Timothy McVeigh

The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was a United States federal government complex located at 200 N.W. 5th Street in Downtown Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States. On April 19, 1995, at 9:02 am the building was the target of the Oklahoma City bombing, which killed 168 people, 19 of whom were children under the age of six. Half of the building collapsed seconds after the truck bomb detonated. The remains were imploded a month after the attack, and the Oklahoma City National Memorial was built on the site.

Contents

The national memorial was authorized on October 9, 1997, by President Bill Clinton's signing of the Oklahoma City National Memorial Act of 1997. It was administratively listed on the National Register of Historic Places the same day. [2] The memorial is administered by Oklahoma City National Memorial Foundation, with National Park Service staff to help interpret the memorial for visitors. The National Memorial Museum and the Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism are components housed in the former Journal Record Building on the north side of the memorial grounds.

Bill Clinton 42nd president of the United States

William Jefferson Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd president of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Prior to the presidency, he was the governor of Arkansas from 1979 to 1981, and again from 1983 to 1992, and the attorney general of Arkansas from 1977 to 1979. A member of the Democratic Party, Clinton was ideologically a New Democrat, and many of his policies reflected a centrist "Third Way" political philosophy.

National Register of Historic Places federal list of historic sites in the United States

The National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) is the United States federal government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation for their historical significance. A property listed in the National Register, or located within a National Register Historic District, may qualify for tax incentives derived from the total value of expenses incurred preserving the property.

National Park Service United States federal agency

The National Park Service (NPS) is an agency of the United States federal government that manages all national parks, many national monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations. It was created on August 25, 1916, by Congress through the National Park Service Organic Act and is an agency of the United States Department of the Interior. The NPS is charged with a dual role of preserving the ecological and historical integrity of the places entrusted to its management, while also making them available and accessible for public use and enjoyment.

The memorial was formally dedicated on April 19, 2000: the fifth anniversary of the bombing. The museum was dedicated and opened the following year on February 19.

History

On April 19, 1995, Timothy McVeigh parked a Ryder rental truck filled with explosives in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. The resulting explosion killed 168 people and destroyed the entire north face of the building. [3]

Timothy McVeigh American domestic anti-government terrorist

Timothy James McVeigh was an American domestic terrorist who perpetrated the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, which killed 168 people and injured over 680 others. The bombing was the deadliest act of terrorism within the United States prior to the September 11 attacks, and remains the deadliest act of domestic terrorism in United States history.

Months after the attack, Mayor Ron Norick appointed a task force to look into a creation of a permanent memorial where the Murrah building once stood. The Task Force called for 'a symbolic outdoor memorial', a Memorial Museum, and for creation of Oklahoma City National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism. Six hundred and twenty four designs were submitted for the memorial and on July 1997 a design by Butzer Design Partnership, which consists of husband and wife Hans and Torrey Butzer, was chosen. [1] [4]

Ronald J. Norick is an American politician. A Republican, he served as mayor of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma from 1988 to 1998. He is the son of James H. Norick, who served as Mayor of Oklahoma City from 1959 to 1963 and 1967 to 1971. He attended Oklahoma City University and studied management. He is a former bank director and manager of Norick Investments Company LLC. He was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 2008.

On October 1997, President Bill Clinton signed law creating the Oklahoma City National Memorial as a unit of the National Park Service to be operated by the Oklahoma City National Memorial Trust. The total cost of the memorial was $29.1 million; $10 million for the Outdoor Symbolic Memorial, $7 million for the Memorial Museum, $5 million for the Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism and the rest for other costs. [1] The federal government appropriated $5 million for construction with the state of Oklahoma matching that amount. More than $17 million in private donations was raised. [4]

On April 19, 2000 the fifth anniversary of the attack, the Outdoor Symbolic Memorial was dedicated. On February 19, 2001 the Memorial Museum was dedicated. [4] In 2004 it was transferred from the NPS to the Oklahoma City National Memorial Foundation, designating it an affiliated area of National Park System. [5] The Oklahoma City National Memorial since its opening has seen over 4.4 million visitors to the Outdoor Symbolic Memorial and 1.6 million visitors to the Memorial Museum. [4] The Memorial has an average of 350,000 visitors per year. [1]

Memorial features

The Outdoor Symbolic Memorial consists of the following segments on 3.3 acres (13,000 m2); it can be visited any time, day or night.

The Field of Empty Chairs, east Gate of Time, and Reflecting Pool at the Oklahoma City National Memorial. Oklahoma City National Memorial viewed from the south showing the memorial chairs, Gate of Time, Reflecting Pool, and Survivor Tree.jpg
The Field of Empty Chairs, east Gate of Time, and Reflecting Pool at the Oklahoma City National Memorial.
The Oklahoma City National Memorial as seen from the base of the reflecting pool. Okcnm.jpg
The Oklahoma City National Memorial as seen from the base of the reflecting pool.
After surviving the bombing, The Survivor Tree elm became an emblem of the Memorial. The Survivor Tree at the Oklahoma City National Memorial.jpg
After surviving the bombing, The Survivor Tree elm became an emblem of the Memorial.
The outside of each gate bears this inscription:

We come here to rememberThose 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.

The force of the blast ripped most of the branches from the Survivor Tree. Glass and debris were embedded in its trunk and fire from the cars parked beneath it blackened what was left. Most thought the tree could not survive. Almost a year after the bombing, family members, survivors, and rescue workers gathered for a memorial ceremony by the tree noticed it was beginning to bloom again. The Survivor Tree now thrives, and the Outdoor Memorial design includes a mandate to feature and protect the tree. For example, one of the roots that would have been cut by the wall surrounding the tree was placed inside a large pipe so it could reach the soil beyond the wall without being damaged. The decking around the tree was raised several feet to make an underground crawlspace; workers enter through a secure hatchway and monitor the health of the tree and maintain its very deep roots. [1] [9]
The inscription around the inside of the deck wall around the Survivor Tree reads:
The spirit of this city and this nation will not be defeated; our deeply rooted faith sustains us.
Hundreds of seeds from the Survivor Tree are planted annually and the resulting saplings are distributed each year on the anniversary of the bombing. Thousands of Survivor Trees are growing in public and private places all over the United States. [9]
The Memorial Fence and east Gate of Time. The Memorial Fence and East Gate of Time at the Oklahoma City National Memorial.jpg
The Memorial Fence and east Gate of Time.


Oklahoma City memorial.jpg
Panoramic view of the Oklahoma City National Memorial

Adjacent memorials


Two churches were located across the street from the Murrah Building. Both were heavily damaged by the blast. Each church was repaired and both constructed memorials on their property. While not part of the official memorial they are open to the public.

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 National Park Service. "Frequently Asked Questions" . Retrieved 2011-04-10.
  2. 1 2 "National Register of Historical Places – Oklahoma (OK), Oklahoma County". National Register of Historic Places. Retrieved 2012-05-01.
  3. Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum. "Building and Memorial Site". Archived from the original on 2011-06-16. Retrieved 2011-04-10.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum. "History and Mission". Archived from the original on 2011-03-14. Retrieved 2011-04-10.
  5. "Oklahoma City National Memorial is a Fine Memorial, But It's Not a National Park | National Parks Traveler". www.nationalparkstraveler.org. Retrieved 2019-04-06.
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum. "Symbolism". Archived from the original on 2009-02-20. Retrieved 2010-04-10.
  7. "Outdoor Symbolic Memorial". Oklahoma City National Memorial. Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  8. University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture. "Survivor Tree (American Elm) Plant of the Week" . Retrieved 2014-12-07.
  9. 1 2 3 Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum. "Survivor Tree". Archived from the original on 2011-07-19. Retrieved 2010-04-10.
  10. Memorial institute for the Prevention of Terrorism. "About Us". Archived from the original on 2011-05-19. Retrieved 2011-04-10.
  11. DelCour, Julie. "Public Chapel to Open At Site of OC Church". Tulsa World. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  12. Kurtzman, Daniel. "A year after Oklahoma blast, Jews feel less isolated". Jweekly.com. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  13. St.Joseph Old Cathedral. "About Us". Archived from the original on 2011-11-23. Retrieved 2011-04-12.
Bibliography

PD-icon.svg This article incorporates  public domain material from websites or documents ofthe National Park Service .