Lessons Learned

All Voices Deserve to Be Heard and Remembered

Oklahoma City National Memorial Foundation Founding Chair Bob Johnson describes the pitfalls avoided in the creation of Oklahoma City’s memorial.

In the months after the bombing, it became apparent that there was overwhelming support for the creation of a major, permanent memorial where the Murrah Building once stood. Then Mayor Ron Norick appointed a 350-member task force to explore ways to remember this tragic event, and especially to honor the 168 Oklahomans who died. In March 1996, the task force issued its report.

In the Memorial Mission Statement, the Task Force called for the creation of a memorial to remember those who were killed, those who survived and those changed forever – in short, all who were touched directly or indirectly by the bombing. The Task Force also called for a memorial that would include three major components:

  1. An Outdoor Symbolic Memorial on the Murrah Building site and along NW Fifth in front of the building footprint.
  2. The Memorial Museum, a 30,000 square foot interactive learning museum to tell the story of April 19, 1995, and how the chaos turned to hope in the days following the terrorist attack.
  3. The Oklahoma City National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism (MIPT). MIPT’s mission is to deter and prevent terrorism and to mitigate its effects. MIPT is a separate 501(c)(3) with a separate governing board. The MIPT operated until federal funding was discontinued in 2014.

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