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Oklahoma City National Memorial Teaches Lessons

“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 mission statement of the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum, the facility dedicated to the lives lost in the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995, gives visitors a perspective on the city’s most somber site.

“The memorial and museum teaches lessons,” said the CVB’s Tabbie Burwell. “It opens up a whole new light as to what happened that day.”

Walking visitors through the hours and days before and after that tragic event, the story is told in chapters, among them a background on terrorism; the history of the site; survivor experiences; and “the hearing,” the impact of the explosion heard and felt through the only known audio recording of the blast.

Outside, the Field of Empty Chairs features 168 chairs representing those who were killed, including 19 smaller chairs that represent children.

New in 2015 will be the Memorial Overlook, which will show visitors the Oklahoma City cityscape, and new artifacts and interactive videos.

“Many say this is the best part of their Oklahoma City visit,” said Burrell. “It’s an extremely somber experience.”