The Edmond Sun

Nation & World

January 8, 2014

OKC National Memorial begins museum upgrades

OKLA. CITY — Nearly 20 years after one destructive act changed a city, state and nation, Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum supporters celebrated a milestone toward the future.

Wednesday morning, supporters gathered to symbolically tear down a wall, beginning enhancements to the museum that will change how future generations experience and learn its life-changing lessons.

During the morning of April 19, 1995, Timothy McVeigh parked a rental truck with explosives in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building and at 9:02 a.m. A massive explosion occurred which sheared the entire north side of the building, killing 168 men, women and children.

After the bombing, there was overwhelming support for the creation of a major, permanent memorial where the building once stood.

The Outdoor Symbolic Memorial, a 3.3-acre site featuring 168 glass-based chairs, Gates of Time, a 318-foot reflecting pool, a Survivor Chapel, Rescuers’ Orchard, a children’s area and the Survivor Tree, was dedicated on April 19, 2000.

The publicly-funded 30,000-square foot interactive learning museum, which tells the stories of those killed and how chaos turned to hope in the days following the terrorist attack, was dedicated on Feb. 19, 2001.

Kari Watkins, Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum executive director, said the museum is beginning phase one of an 11-month $7 million five-phase renovation project. A master plan outlines a renovation of the layout and exhibits to advance its ability to reach and engage audiences in new and captivating ways.

“We’re really excited about what this means,” Watkins said. “It really is about teaching the next generation in a way where they will learn the story.”

Remaining relevant is paramount to the memorial’s mission, especially as it honors and teaches a generation of children who were not yet born at the time of the bombing, Watkins said.

Susan Winchester, chairman of the Oklahoma City Memorial Foundation, who lost a sister in the bombing, said Wednesday’s development marked an important moment in the organization’s history.

The renovation will add artifacts and stories not available when the museum was originally designed, and children learn differently than they did when the museum opened, Winchester said.

“This story must be told, taught, and people must understand the senselessness of violence and the dozens of lessons learned,” she said. “Our city, our state and our nation are in a very different place than they were nearly 19 years ago.”

Winchester said her nieces will tell their stories about her sister and others will realize she wasn’t a faceless person, but an ordinary mother, a sister, a wife and a daughter.

“Today’s technology will give each of these people a voice,” Winchester said.

Museum co-designer Patrick Gallagher said success in a modern museum is constantly revisiting what the experience is and identifying the audience.

“Our audience continues to grow and change every year as new generations come,” Gallagher said. “They come with new questions. They come with inquiries about the story, a new sense of understanding.”

Planners studied every chapter of the story in the museum and every element that connects visitors to what they would consider a complete experience for the visitor, Gallagher said. That includes looking at new technologies so young people can dig deeper into the story and connect them in a contemporary, emotional way, Gallagher said.

That includes never-before-seen interviews and film clips that will change the perspective of this story, and tell the story in an engaging manner, Gallagher said.

Since April 19, 2000, more than 6 million people from 97 countries have visited the outdoor memorial, and more than 2 million visitors have visited the museum. More than 500,000 school children and educators have participated in museum education programs, which teach how individual acts contribute to violence and cultivate ways to serve others.

They leave with the knowledge that evil did not prevail.

It costs $3,452,695 annually to preserve and beautify the memorial and museum.

marks@edmondsun.com | 341-2121, ext. 108

 

1
Text Only
Nation & World
  • Blackmon.jpg Local cops arrest NFL player on marijuana complaint

    The Edmond Police Department has released the incident report related to the arrest of ex-Oklahoma State star and current NFL player Justin Blackmon.
    Blackmon, 24, a product of Plainview High School in Ardmore, is a 6-1, 210-pound wide receiver in his second year with the Jacksonville Jaguars. At Oklahoma State University, he was a two-time Biletnikoff Award winner as the country’s best collegiate wide receiver.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • A Q&A on ‘Obamacare’ Court Rulings

    On Tuesday, two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings on the legality of tax subsidies being provided to people who bought “Obamacare” health insurance policies in Oklahoma and 35 other states.
    Here’s a look at the rulings’ potential impact in Oklahoma.

    Q: I’m confused. What did the courts rule today?
    A: A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals circuit in Washington, D.C., decided that the government can’t provide tax subsidies for Affordable Care Act plans purchased in 36 states where the federal government is operating the health insurance exchange. Oklahoma is one of the 36 states. A few hours later, the U.S. Court of Appeals circuit in Richmond, Va., issued a conflicting ruling that upheld the legality of the health-care law’s tax subsidies.

    July 22, 2014

  • June healthy month for Oklahoma jobs

    Nearly 10,000 new jobs in Oklahoma were created in June, according to the U.S. Labor Department.
    Gov. Mary Fallin said Tuesday the state experienced one of the largest increases in employment in the nation in June. More than 9,600 additional people joined the state’s workforce in June.
    The unemployment rate in June dropped to 4.5 percent, its lowest ratio in six years. June’s rate was down a percentage point from 4.6 percent in May and April, according to the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission.

    July 22, 2014

  • Former OSU line coach having impact on Texas staff

    It was quite possibly the biggest coaching coup of the offseason and Oklahoma State was at the wrong end of it — former Cowboy offensive line coach Joe Wickline joining the staff for Charlie Strong’s Texas Longhorns.
    “It’s always good when you go hire staff and you look at just getting the right people within your program. And, a lot of times, guys know a lot of Xs and Os, but it’s all just about developing a player,” said Strong, Tuesday during the Big 12 Conference Football Media Days. “Joe and I, we’ve coached together at two different places. But just with him being within his conference and knowing the conference, he’s been a great asset.”

    July 22, 2014

  • UCO campus 3.jpg University of Central Oklahoma recognized as having friendly work environment

    The Chronicle of Higher Education named the University of Central Oklahoma as one of the “2014 Great Colleges to Work For.” Central is the only higher education institution in the state recognized on the list and one of only a handful of institutions in the nation given the distinction of being named to the Honor Roll for being cited most often among all the recognition categories.          
    Central joins Duke, Baylor and Notre Dame on the list of the 10 universities named to the large institution honor roll.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sparring justices find little disagreement at the opera

    Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg revealed a different view of U.S. Supreme Court on Saturday when she described about her passion for opera, one she shares with Justice Antonin Scalia.

    July 21, 2014

  • Experts: Ukraine airliner disaster has implications for U.S. security

    Use of surface-to-air missiles by extra-military personnel to shoot down civilian aircraft may be an emerging threat to the United States, a terrorism expert said.
    On Thursday, Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 took off from Amsterdam and was shot down over Ukraine near the Russian border. Nearly 300 innocent lives were taken — men, women, children, infants — who had nothing to do with the crisis in Ukraine, President Barack Obama said during a statement on the conflict in front of reporters at the White House.

    July 18, 2014

  • Rabbi, UCO professor provide Middle East perspectives

    Hours after Israel launched ground operations in the Gaza Strip, the leader of a metro synagogue and a UCO professor who was raised in the West Bank shared their thoughts about the escalating conflict.  
    During the latest cycle of violence sparked by the kidnapping and deaths of three Israeli teenagers that Israel blames on Hamas, the Jewish nation launched air strikes against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.

    July 18, 2014

  • spts-OC Rhein Gibson British Open.jpg OC alum Gibson holes pressure putt on 18, makes cut at British Open

    It was the biggest putt of Rhein Gibson’s life — which is saying something for a guy who once shot a world-record 55 — and the Oklahoma Christian alum and Edmond resident responded the way he has so many times before.
    A four-time NAIA All-American while at Oklahoma Christian University, Gibson made the 15-footer for a birdie on No. 18 as darkness descended at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, capping a 2-over-par 74 and allowing him to make the cut in the world’s most prestigious tournament.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • spts-Senior Open Josh Cook hands on hips.jpg ‘Cook’-ing up a championship golf course

    When the practice rounds began at the U.S. Senior Open July 7, the ramblings were almost non-stop.
    From the players who live at the course to professional golfers from across the ocean and diverse parts of the globe, the consensus was that Oak Tree National was in tremendous shape and the players were keyed up to compete on it.
    “The golf course is fantastic,” Oak Tree resident Bob Tway said on the first day of competition July 10. “It’s hard, but it’s fantastic.

    July 18, 2014 2 Photos