The Edmond Sun

Local News

April 17, 2012

Museum artifacts tell story

Oklahomans to commemorate 17th anniversary of OKC bombing

EDMOND — Oklahoma City has learned the importance of finding hope and remembering.

As what happened to a community, a state and a nation on April 19, 1995, is remembered once more, the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum again reminds visitors of the importance of remembrance in order to heal 17 years later.

Part of the inscription on the wall at the Gates of Times leading to the Reflecting Pool attests to that fact. It says, in part “... to remember those who were killed, those who survived and those changed forever. Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma — April 19, 1995.”

The Memorial Museum takes visitors on a tour through the story of April 19, 1995, and the days, weeks, months and years that followed the bombing of Oklahoma City’s Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.

It is through remembering that day and the days to follow that visitors are educated as to what happened, to whom it happened and the resulting actions that followed.

“Michael Berenbaum played a role in the creation of the process,” said Kari Watkins, executive director of the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum. “He helped us understand the importance of preserving memories.”

Berenbaum is a museum development consultant and contributed to the conceptual design of the Oklahoma City Memorial Museum and oversaw the creation of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

Berenbaum will give a presentation at 4 p.m. Tuesday on “Culture & Memory: The Importance of Documenting Our Stories” in the Center for Education & Outreach at the museum.

“Dr. Michael Berenbaum is one of the most well-respected Holocaust scholars globally and we are fortunate to be able to welcome him to Oklahoma City for our Yom HaShoah program on the 17th,” said Melinda Parks, director, Holocaust Education and Community Resources for the Jewish Federation of Greater Oklahoma City.  

“Our longtime community partner, the Oklahoma City National Memorial, also has ties to Dr. Berenbaum, as he consulted in the planning stages of the Memorial complex. Dr. Berenbaum’s visit, particularly so close to the anniversary of the Murrah Building bombing, is a marvelous opportunity to join with the Memorial as we unite to remember those lost to violence and to oppose hatred and intolerance.”

By way of CDs, videotapes, digital documents, cassettes and photos the story of anger and hate is told, and it is through these very elements and remembering what happened the story of hope emerges.

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