On the morning of April 19, 1995, at 9:02 a.m. the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was destroyed by explosives, killing 168 people. The memorial begins at the Gates of Time. The East Gate marks 9:01 a.m., representing the innocence of the city before the attack. The West Gate marks 9:03 a.m., the moment lives were changed forever.
Inside the gates is a beautiful reflecting pool which occupies what was once N.W. Fifth Street. The site where the Alfred P. Murrah Federal building once stood is now replaced with 168 chairs representing the lives taken that day. They stand in nine rows to represent each floor of the building and each chair bears the name of someone killed on that floor. Nineteen smaller chairs are for the children who also lost their lives.
On the east end of the memorial stands the only remaining walls from the building. The names of more than 600 survivors are inscribed on salvaged granite from the Murrah Building lobby.
Across the street is a memorial where a church rectory once stood but had to be taken down because of the blast. In it is a statue of Jesus with his back to the violence. The statue stands amid pillars representing the 19 children and 3 unborn children whose lives were taken that day.
One can’t help but to be moved by the memorial. If you are ever close to Oklahoma City I hope you will find the time to visit the memorial and the museum.
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.