A Somber Reminder – The Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum

The Mission Statement of the Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum reveals the purpose of the facility. “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 domestic terroristic act that occurred on April 19, 1995 changed America. No longer were bombings something that happened “over there.” Now bombs exploded on American soil. The Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum remembers the event and helps those who were too young to know about the bombing to understand the impact that violence and hatred has on all of us. The bombing occurred at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City with 168 men, women, and children dying.

The museum lets visitors experience the day, a calm day that began as usual with parents dropping off children at the daycare and going to work in the same building. And then, tragedy struck as the explosion ripped through the facility. The exhibits walk you through the day by sharing stories of the survivors and pictures of both victims and survivors. The museum is intense so make certain that any children are able to handle the experience. There are many interactive exhibits that bring the tragedy to life for visitors. The museum follows the hunt, arrest, and ensuing trial of anti-government survivalist, Timothy McVeigh, and his co-conspirator, Terry Nichols.

I would recommend buying tickets online before going. Parking is free with museum admission. Just take your parking ticket to the registration desk.

The Memorial itself features a field of 168 empty chairs which are in 9 rows. Each row represents a floor of the Federal Building. The outdoor Memorial also highlights the survivor tree which withstood the brunt of the explosion and still remains standing. a reflecting pool, and the shattered remains of the Federal Courthouse. The remaining walls of the building are inscribed with the names of the people who survived the bombing. (The outside Memorial is free.) All are very moving and honor those who were killed, those who survived, and the many volunteers from the community and throughout the US who came to help.

The Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum is a moving reminder that there is hatred in the world, but also that there is still love and compassion.

Have you been to OKC? If so, what was your favorite place to visit?

Candace Ahlfinger has loved traveling since she was little and has always been on the go whenever possible. Now she is retired and gets to do what she loves best… TRAVEL! Whether it’s traveling with her wonderful husband, or our children and grandchildren, traveling is a great experience that enriches her life. Because she always enjoys reading and hearing about others’ travel experiences, she wants to share her travels with the Ellis DownHome readers. 


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