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Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum plans changes

Museum enhancements will include new ways to tell the story of the Oklahoma City bombing, Kari Watkins, executive director of the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, said.

BY BRYAN PAINTER Published: September 24, 2012
/articleid/3712580/1/pictures/1840721">Photo - Kari Watkins Executive director of the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum
Kari Watkins Executive director of the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum

“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.

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