A Look At The Memorial

oklahoma city bombing memorial 041100 AP




Dedication: Scheduled April 19


Designed by: Hans and Torrey Butzer


Major Features:

  • Chairs -- Sitting in nine rows, one for each floor of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the chairs represent the 168 victims of the Oklahoma City bombing. Each chair is made of stone and hand-crafted bronze, and rests on a glass base etched with the name of the victim it represents. Smaller chairs will represent the 19 children killed in the bombing.

  • Reflecting pool -- Running approximately along where 5th Street used to be, the 3/4-inch deep pool is lined with black granite and features constantly running water. Co-designer Torry Butzer said the pool is supposed to symbolize a void. "It looks very dark and is supposed to be a kind of mysterious place," she said.

  • Survivor Tree -- An American Elm that bloomed even after weathering the blast of the bomb, the tree sits on a promontory at the site and is meant to represent the survivors of the attack. Surrounding the Survivor Tree is the Helpers' Orchard, an army of fruit trees meant to symbolize those who rushed in to help after the bombing.

  • The Gates of Time -- Anchoring each end of the memorial, the gates are intended as both a physical and symbolic transition into the site, said Hans Butzer. One is marked "9:01" and the other emblazoned "9:03," in reference to the moments surrounding the 9:02 bombing. Butzer said the times add meaning to the memorial located between the gates. "Some were killed, some survived, some without a moment's thought rushed in to help. The gates frame the story," Butzer said.

  • Children's Area -- Meant to honor the children killed in the bombing, a corner of the memorial features a wall of ceramic tiles hand-painted with messages from students and teachers from across the country. It also has several chalkboards meant for more temporary messages to bombing victims, Hans Butzer said.


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