Other grieving communities turn to OKC’s model after tragedies
Bombing memorial director shares
lessons learned by Oklahoma City.
BY MELISSA HOWELL •
Modified: April 29, 2012 at 1:15 am •
Published: April 29, 2012
/articleid/3668811/1/pictures/1701636"> Visitors tour the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman archives
Among those was Hugh Rice of Oklahoma City, father of David Rice, who was killed in the World Trade Center.
“On Thursday, this police sergeant did call, and I knew what he was going to tell me,” Rice said on the video.
“Before he told me I said, ‘I want to let you know from Oklahoma City that we want to thank the New York City Police Department for all the help you gave us when you came out here in April 1995 ’ and he said, ‘Well, I appreciate you saying that because two of those people from my police force who came out there are my close friends and they are at the bottom of that rubble.’”
Alice M. Greenwald, the 9/11 Memorial Museum director, said that through the years, Watkins and her staff have been extraordinarily helpful as they have worked through any number of issues to forge a design for the 9/11 Memorial Museum.
“She has been generous with her wisdom, and her team has been unfailingly supportive of our efforts,” Greenwald said.
“As two cities that have suffered the ravages of terrorism, the bond between Oklahoma City and New York City is a deep and abiding one.
“And, now, as two communities that look to the future with resilience, we remain close partners in the shared commitment to a building a better future through education and commemoration.”
In other tragedies that have followed, representatives from the Oklahoma City National Memorial have been sent to lend assistance in places including Virginia Tech, Columbine, and last year’s shooting spree in Tucson, Ariz.
The museum also shares the Oklahoma City bombing story through partnerships with other museums, including the Newseum in Washington, D.C., and the William J. Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Ark.
“Oklahoma City remains a pivotal reference point for the entire country during episodes of intense public mourning,” Watkins wrote in an opinion piece following the shootings in Tucson.
“People search for a semblance of hope and healing, and our example offers a powerful symbol of exactly that — living proof that good can eventually emerge from the pain and suffering inflicted by acts of incomprehensible violence.”
Contributing: Staff Writer
The Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, 620 N Harvey Ave., is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call 235-3313 or go to www.oklahomacitynationalmemorial.org.