Oklahoma City National Memorial and Memorial Museum
Built as a memorial to the tragic bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building,
you will stand in reverence in the grassy setting overshadowed by the towering bronze gates where the time of the explosion is permanently emblazoned.
You can study the individual markers, created in memory of the victims as well as explore the segment of chain-link fence where you may leave a
personal memento of your visit, as so many others have done. The Memorial Museum, inside a portion
of the Journal-Record Building, provides a stunning reenactment of April 19, 1995, and honors all 168 Oklahomans who lost their lives
SYMBOLISMGates of Time
Two monumental gates stand as entrances to the Memorial site and frame the moment of destruction.
Standing 3/4 of an inch deep, the calming water of this pool stands where 5th Street once stood, and shows the reflection of someone changed forever by their visit to the Memorial.
Field of Empty Chairs
168 chairs stand in nine rows, each representing a floor of the building, and represent the 168 lives lost on April 19, 1995. The field is located in what was the footprint of the building.
More than 800 survivors, all of whom have told their story to the Memorial, are listed by building on salvaged pieces of granite mounted on the only remaining intact wall of the Murrah Building.
The Survivor Tree
The Survivor Tree, an American Elm, bears witness to the violence of April 19 and now stands as a profound symbol of human resilience. The circular promontory surrounding the tree offers a place for gathering and viewing the Memorial.
Like the people who rushed in from near and far to lend a helping hand, this army of fruit and flower bearing trees surrounds and protects the Survivor Tree.
In the aftermath of the blast, countless expressions of encouragement were received from children. A wall of hand painted tiles sent to Oklahoma City in 1995 by children illustrates that caring. In addition, a series of chalkboards creates an oversized display of these works where children can continue to share their feelings -- an important component of the healing process.
What started as a protective barrier for the site became a symbol of support and hope as people from around the world left notes, stuffed animals, wreaths and other mementos after the bombing. A 200-foot section of the fence now sits on the "healing" western side of the Outdoor Symbolic Memorial, and visitors still leave items on a daily basis.