"We come here to remember those 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 Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum mission statement commemorates the people of the city, nation and world dramatically affected by the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building. The site's Outdoor Symbolic Memorial holds three distinct areas focusing on the people directly impacted;The Field of Empty Chairs, the Survivor Wall and the Rescuers' Orchard.
On the Field of Empty Chairs, sit one hundred sixty-eight empty chairs, representing those killed.Amongst these proud, straight-backed symbols of loss, nineteen shorter chairs stand out as representing the children killed on the day of the bombing.There is a name of a victim etched into the glass base of each chair. More information on these individuals can be found on the 'Stories' section of this website and on the Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum's website.
The Survivor Wall, just south of the 9:01 gate, is the largest remaining piece of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. The wall holds four large granite panels, salvaged from the Federal Building and engraved with a list of the over six hundred names of survivors from the immediate impact area. The names are organized according to the building or outside area these people were located that morning.
Looking north from the reflecting pool, a small grove of trees creates the Rescuers' Orchard. The three different types of trees within the orchard honor the twelve thousand rescue workers who struggled so valiantly to rescue and recover people from the Federal Building. The Eastern Redbud, or Oklahoma Redbud, represents the first responders and people from Oklahoma. The other two types, the Chinese Pistache and Amur Maple, represent those who responded from outside the state. Multiple agencies were involved in the response to this disaster and together formed an effective team. Assisting them, were communities throughout the nation, helping any way possible.
The people impacted by the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing ranged from victims to survivors to ordinary citizens thousands of miles away.Moreover, there are still people affected today, by this tragic moment in our history.By recognizing their experiences, we can further the mission of the Memorial, and begin to recognize how we ourselves are impacted by that dark day.