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Old Feb 21, 2007, 1:32 PM   #1
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I just wanted to share these pictures taken at the Oklahoma City National Memorial.


For those of you who may not know the story, the memorial is the site of where the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building once stood, when 168 people were killed in the bombing at 9:02am on April 19, 1995.

Here is a look of the memorial facing in a south west direction.
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Old Feb 21, 2007, 1:37 PM   #2
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The Gates of Time: Monumental twin bronze gates frame the moment of destruction - 9:02 - and mark the formal entrances to the Outdoor Memorial. 9:01, found on the eastern gate, represents the last moments of peace, while its opposite on the western gate, 9:03, represents the first moments of recovery. Both time stamps are inscribed on the interior of the monument, facing each other and the Reflecting Pool.

The outside of each gate bears this inscription:

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.

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Old Feb 21, 2007, 1:40 PM   #3
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Field of Empty Chairs: 168 empty chairs hand-crafted from glass, bronze, and stone represent those who lost their lives in the tragedy. A bombing victim's name is etched in the glass base of each chair. The chairs represent the empty chairs at the dinner tables of the victim's family. The chairs are arranged in nine rows symbolizing the nine floors of the building, and each person's chair is on the row (or the floor) on which the person worked or was visiting when the bomb went off. The chairs are also grouped according to the blast pattern, with the most chairs nearest the most heavily damaged portion of the building. The westernmost column of five chairs represents the five people who died but were not in the Murrah Building when the bomb went off (two in the Water Resources Board building, one in the Athenian Building, one outside near the building, and one rescuer). The 19 smaller chairs represent the children killed in the bombing. Three unborn children died along with their mothers, and they are listed on their mothers' chairs beneath their mothers' names.
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Old Feb 21, 2007, 1:42 PM   #4
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Here is a closeup of the Empty Chairs.
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Old Feb 21, 2007, 1:45 PM   #5
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The Survivor Tree: An American elm on the north side of the Memorial, this tree was the only shade tree in the parking lot across the street from the Murrah Building, and commuters came in to work early to get one of the shady parking spots provided by its branches. Photos of Oklahoma City taken around the time of statehood (1907) show this tree, meaning it is currently at least 100 years old. Despite its age, the tree was neglected and taken for granted prior to the blast. Heavily damaged by the bomb, the Tree ultimately survived after nearly being chopped down during the initial investigation, in order to recover evidence hanging in its branches and embedded in its bark.

Once thought to be slowly dying, the Survivor Tree now thrives, in no small part because the specifications for the Outdoor Memorial design included a mandate to feature and protect the Tree. One example of the dramatic measures taken to save the Tree: 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. A second example is the decking around the Tree, which is 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. 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 today in public and private places all over the United States; saplings were sent to Columbine High School after the massacre there, to New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani after the September 11, 2001 attacks, and to many others. According to its caretaker, the Tree itself has an estimated remaining lifespan of 30 to 40 years.

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.

The outside inscription reads:

To the courageous and caring who responded from near and far. We offer our eternal gratitude.
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Old Feb 21, 2007, 1:52 PM   #6
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A rescue worked originally painted the message on the wall during search and recovery efforts in April 1995. The building on which it is painted was a fuctioning office building when the bomb exploded across the street. Ceilings collapsed, walls fell in and glass shards flew throughout the building. Hundreds of people were injured, many critically. Fortunately, no one was killed inside this building. Today it houses the Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum.
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Old Feb 21, 2007, 1:55 PM   #7
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The south wall of the Journal Record Building directly faced the blast's impact and was heavily damaged. The south face with its broken bricks and mangled fire escape look very much as it looked following the bombing.
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Old Feb 21, 2007, 1:58 PM   #8
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Children's Area: More than 5,000 hand-painted tiles, from all over the United States and Canada, were made by children and sent to Oklahoma City after the bombing in 1995. The tiles are now stored in the Memorial's Archives, and a sampling of those tiles is on the wall in the Children's Area, along with a series of chalkboards where children can draw and share their feelings. The Children's Area is north of the 9:03 gate, on the west side of the Museum.
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Old Feb 21, 2007, 2:02 PM   #9
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A closeup of one of the tiles.
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Old Feb 21, 2007, 2:06 PM   #10
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The Memorial Fence: An ten foot tall chain link fence was originally installed around the area that is now the Reflecting Pool and the Field of Empty Chairs to protect the site from damage and visitors from injury. The Fence stood for more than four years and became famous itself, with visitors leaving stuffed animals, poems, keychains, and other items there as tributes. During the construction of the Outdoor Memorial, 210 feet of the Fence was moved to the west side of the Memorial, along the 9:03 side or the 'healing' side. The remainder of the Fence is in storage. Visitors may still leave small items along and in the Fence; the mementos are periodically collected, catalogued, and stored.
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