Oklahoma City Memorial Foundation

When a massive bomb exploded in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Building on April 19, 1995, it shook our foundations, shocked the world and changed our lives forever. The blast ripped away almost half of the nine story building, killed 168 children and adults, injured hundreds and left Americans feeling the security within its shores had been destroyed.
VR Panorama of Bombing Site. Taken 8-5-98 (520k)
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However, something unexpected also emerged that day in Oklahoma City and the days that followed: our response proved that this nation would not be defeated by forces that sought to divide us. Our spirit, our hope and our determination would not be stilled. Rather, Oklahoma City reminded us that we are a great nation, capable of repelling terrorism and its insidious effects, capable of great compassion and selflessness.

Mindful of the far-reaching impact of the bombing and aware of the historic nature of the event, in June 1995, Oklahoma City Mayor Ron Norick appointed local attorney and civic leader Robert M. Johnson to head a 350-member volunteer task force charged with developing an appropriate and enduring memorial.

The Task Force was charged with insuring that everyone could participate in the planning process. Volunteers gathered extensive input from families, survivors and the public about what visitors to the memorial should think, feel and experience. Based on such input, a mission statement setting forth consensus objectives of the Memorial was unanimously adopted. This process has been called "the most open and inclusive in the history of Oklahoma City."

The Oklahoma City Memorial will be designed in three components to ensure the criteria of the Mission Statement are met.

1. The first component is a world class symbolic Memorial that will be located on the three-acre space dedicated to the victims and survivors of the bombing. This area is bounded on the South by the south wall of the former Murrah Federal Building, on the North by the south wall of the Journal Record Building, on the West by Harvey Avenue and on the East by Robinson Avenue. The design of the symbolic element was determined by an International Design Competition that garnered 624 designs from all 50 states and 23 countries. The final design was announced July 1, 1997 in a special ceremony at the site.

2. The second component of the Memorial Complex will be the Memorial Center. It will consist of a museum and visitors' center that will tell the story of the bombing, the stories of those most directly affected and the story of the Oklahoma Standard of response. The Memorial Center may be located in the Journal Record Building, if arrangements can be made to preserve this historic landmark. A section of the building that was badly damaged by the bomb will be kept in tact so that visitors will be able to see the impact of violence.

3. The third component of the Memorial will be the establishment of the Oklahoma City Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism and Violence, envisioned to be a public/private research and assistance center unlike any in the world. The Institute, firmly rooted in the Oklahoma experience, will act as a common meeting ground for discussion among the public, the religious community, government and academic scholars. Interrelated academic disciplines may include the social and political sciences, the law, the humanities, the arts, religion and health sciences.

Acting in concert, the Institute, a strong, symbolic Memorial and an interactive museum and visitors' center will not only memorialize the losses suffered in Oklahoma City but, moreover, will reflect our resolve that those losses were not in vain.

For more information, please contact:

The Oklahoma City Memorial Foundation, (405) 235-3313


April 14, 1997

Oklahoma City Memorial Foundation
420 North Robinson
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73102

Dear Friends

Our nation will never forget that tragic day, almost two years ago, When we first learned of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal building in Oklahoma City, and we will always remember courage shown by the citizens of your strong and united city during that dark time. All Americans continue to support your recovery efforts, and our prayers are with you.

With the destruction of the Murrah Federal Building, we learned once again that America is a family, and that such a brutal attack on any American is an attack on us all. In uniting around the citizens of Oklahoma City, our nation proved once again that no force of hatred or terrorism can ever defeat the American spirit.

I want to express my support for your efforts to establish a memorial on the Site of the bombing. This memorial will be a fitting tribute not only to those who died, but also to those whose lives were changed forever on April 19,1995. is 1 know that, by honoring our fellow Americans in this way, we can help to further the healing and restore hope for a brighter, more secure future.

Hillary and I will always remember the time we spent with the families and survivors? lease know that we are keeping them, and all the people of Oklahoma City in our thoughts and prayers.


bill clinton

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