Oklahoma City's 17th Anniversary Remembrance Ceremony will begin at 8:55 a.m. Thursday on the Outdoor Symbolic Memorial

17th Anniversary of the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building is set for Thursday.
by Bryan Painter Published: April 19, 2012

Years have passed, 17 to be exact.

But the memories of the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building haven't.

The 17th Anniversary Remembrance Ceremony will begin at 8:55 a.m. Thursday on the Outdoor Symbolic Memorial.

Similar to previous years, 168 seconds of silence will be observed at 9:02 a.m. for those lost as a result of the bombing.

“It is important to remember,” said Kari Watkins, executive director of the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum. “The city could have gone in a million different directions following the bombing and the people of this city chose to remember. Building the memorial and museum in the heart of our downtown forces people to remember and to pause each time they pass or stop to learn. The annual remembrance ceremonies are much the same way.

“These 60 minutes of remembrance cause us to remember the horror and then celebrate the hope of renewal and moving forward for those closest to the terrorist attack and those who simply were changed forever that day.”

Watkins said that now a new generation of children who were not even born in 1995 are being taught about what took place. The history is critical to ensure they know how far the city and its people have come. She referred to a program this week at the Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum by Dr. Michael Berenbaum, a writer, lecturer, teacher and museum development consultant who contributed to the conceptual design of the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

He said the act 17 years ago is going from living memory, those who were here and remember the event, to historical memory, a new generation that doesn't remember this act. He said it is critical that the next generation learn about the event.


by Bryan Painter
Assistant Local Editor
Bryan Painter, assistant local editor, has 31 years’ experience in journalism, including 22 years with the state's largest newspaper, The Oklahoman. In that time he has covered such events as the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah...
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