15 Apr, 2015, 09:30 ET
OKLAHOMA CITY, April 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum today announced plans for the 20th Anniversary Remembrance Ceremony to honor the 168 individuals who were killed, those who survived, and those changed forever by the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City.
On Sunday, April 19th, President Bill Clinton – currently a National Advisory Board Member of the Memorial & Museum – will return to Oklahoma City where he will deliver remarks and honor the victims, survivors, family members, and rescue workers during the ceremony. Elected officials in attendance will include Mayor Ron Norick (1987-1998), Governor Frank Keating (1995-2003), Mayor Mick Cornett (2004 - present), and Governor Mary Fallin (2011 - present).
The bombing proved to be a turning point in American history – a moment when, under President Clinton's leadership, Americans stood together against those who would claim that government was more a threat to individual liberty than the source of our freedom. As he said in a speech at Michigan State University shortly thereafter: "There is nothing patriotic about hating your country or pretending that you can love your country but despise your Government. There is nothing heroic about turning your back on America or ignoring your own responsibilities. If you want to preserve your own freedom, you must stand up for the freedom of others with whom you disagree. But you also must stand up for the rule of law. You cannot have one without the other."
"On April 19, we will come together to celebrate the unity of a people who've worked together over the past two decades to not only remember the events of that day, but to build a stronger, more vibrant community," said Susan Winchester, chairman, Oklahoma City National Memorial Foundation. "Today, Oklahoma City has been utterly transformed. Scores of new residents are moving to the state. There's a generation of young people born after 1995. And it's up to all of us to teach them how even the most tragic event can bring out the best in people."
In honor of the anniversary year, the Memorial & Museum initiated a statewide campaign for Oklahomans to show their continued commitment to the Oklahoma Standard – the term visiting rescue workers and journalists used to capture the sense of generosity they witnessed in the wake of the bombing. With more than a hundred thousand participants across the state, each individual has committed to one Act of Service, Honor and Kindness starting in the month of April.
The Remembrance Ceremony will feature an Oklahoma Standard pinning ceremony, in which all participants will be invited to pin a friend, a student or young person – symbolizing both parties' commitment to maintaining the Oklahoma Standard for years to come.
"The lessons learned twenty years ago on April 19, 1995 – and in the months and years thereafter – have changed the way America responds to violence and terrorism," said Kari Watkins, executive director, Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum. "Oklahoma City stands as a city of hope in the example of how a community can recover from a tragic event."
The Memorial & Museum is dedicated to educating new audiences about the stories of courage and strength exhibited in Oklahoma City. For that reason, the Memorial & Museum completed a more than $10 million renovation, with hundreds of new artifacts, oral histories, and technologies that allow the facts to be told in a way that will engage visitors like never before.
For more information on the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, visit www.oklahomacitynationalmemorial.org.
About the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum
The Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum educates visitors about the impact of violence and terrorism, teaches the lessons learned from the Oklahoma City bombing and inspires hope and healing from those who were killed, those who survived and those changed forever in the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.
Mary Ann Eckstein
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SOURCE Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum
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