Day of Remembrance video by the Memorial Museum
20 years ago, on April 19th, 1995 one of the largest terrorist attacks took place on American soil. A truck bomb exploded at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. 168 people, including children were killed and hundreds were injured.
The blast was set off by anti-government militant Timothy McVeigh, who in 2001 was executed for his crimes. His co-conspirator Terry Nichols received life in prison.
On Sunday, April 19th, President Bill Clinton – currently a National Advisory Board Member of the Memorial & Museum – will return to Oklahoma City where he will deliver remarks and honor the victims, survivors, family members, and rescue workers during the ceremony. Elected officials in attendance will include Mayor Ron Norick (1987-1998), Governor Frank Keating (1995-2003), Mayor Mick Cornett (2004 – present), and Governor Mary Fallin (2011 – present).
The bombing proved to be a turning point in American history – a moment when, under President Clinton’s leadership, Americans stood together against those who would claim that government was more a threat to individual liberty than the source of our freedom.
“On April 19, we will come together to celebrate the unity of a people who’ve worked together over the past two decades to not only remember the events of that day, but to build a stronger, more vibrant community,” said Susan Winchester, chairman, Oklahoma City National Memorial Foundation. “Today, Oklahoma City has been utterly transformed. Scores of new residents are moving to the state. There’s a generation of young people born after 1995. And it’s up to all of us to teach them how even the most tragic event can bring out the best in people.”
The Remembrance Ceremony will feature an Oklahoma Standard pinning ceremony, in which all participants will be invited to pin a friend, a student or young person – symbolizing both parties’ commitment to maintaining the Oklahoma Standard for years to come.
“The lessons learned twenty years ago on April 19, 1995 – and in the months and years thereafter – have changed the way America responds to violence and terrorism,” said Kari Watkins, executive director, Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum. “Oklahoma City stands as a city of hope in the example of how a community can recover from a tragic event.”
The Memorial & Museum is dedicated to educating new audiences about the stories of courage and strength exhibited in Oklahoma City. For that reason, the Memorial & Museum completed a more than $10 million renovation, with hundreds of new artifacts, oral histories, and technologies that allow the facts to be told in a way that will engage visitors like never before.
For more information: www.oklahomacitynationalmemorial.org.