At 9:02 a.m. April 19, 1995, so much changed with the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.
At 9:03 that morning, the responsibility of remembering and educating began, said Kari Watkins, executive director of the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum.
That has not stopped.
About four months ago, the Oklahoma City National Memorial Foundation unveiled plans for an updated museum that foundation officials said will help the memorial better tell the story of the Oklahoma City bombing to all generations.
The 9:03 Fund was created to support this, and the project is in the early design and fundraising stages where more than $7 million already has been raised.
“At that moment, 9:03, we were charged with moving forward and remembering but also rebuilding our lives and our city,” Watkins said.
“Through the 9:03 Fund, we will raise an additional $10 million for our endowment which is already right around $13 million and then will also raise more than $5 million for the capital campaign, most of which will be used for the museum enhancement and a cash savings for emergency repairs that we face with an aging facility.”
Plans include a second- story overlook, proposed to be located just above the tree line of the south facade of the museum. Last week, the Downtown Design Review Committee passed the plan for the overlook, Watkins said.
“We wanted to get this approved through the proper channels before we asked additional donors to buy into the idea,” she said. “We believe those who donate to help make this a reality will understand why we want to advance this story and the critical nature to remembering this event and its relevance to today.”
She said they will go back to the committee over the next year with construction documents.
“This overlook will provide visitors a stronger overall orientation and is intended to allow a richer perspective of how the events in the museum relate to the outdoor site,” Watkins said.
“This key component of the renovations will become a signature element of the memorial and museum. It will allow the visitors outside to understand the importance of spending time in the museum, to understand the human side of terrorism and the faces and stories that go with the chairs, the survivor wall, the rescuers' orchard, and the children's area.
“For the visitors inside the museum, it helps them understand the symbolic elements of the outdoor and the power of the loss, the emptiness and to see a city that is rebuilding and is a symbol of resilience to the world.”
A timeline calls for the enhancements to be completed by the 20th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing in April 2015.
As part of this, another way to advance the story told at the museum is through technology not available in 2000-01 when the museum was being designed and created, she said.
For instance, the scope of the criminal investigation surrounding the bombing will be told through video, technology and artifacts, she said.
Also with the enhancements, the museum will introduce about 100 new storytellers through video and technology including many of the prosecution and defense teams from the trials.
“This story also teaches the consequences of choices made, both good and bad, and visitors will see that throughout the museum,” Watkins said.