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A witness to hope

Survivor Tree's Journey









Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, https://memorialmuseum.com/experience/the-memorial Nov. 1, 2023

In an instant, the tranquility shattered. A deafening roar filled the air, and an immense blast rocked the ground. The Murrah Building, my neighbor for so long, was torn apart. The explosion was powerful, shattering glass and sending shockwaves through the city.

The Unthinkable

The Peaceful Morning The day began like any other. The sun bathed the city in a warm glow, and the laughter of children from the nearby daycare center filled the air. Families enjoyed picnics on the green lawns, and I swayed gently in the breeze, providing shade and solace.

April 19, 1995 9:01a.m.

A Beacon of Hope Despite the devastation, I remained standing. My branches were charred, leaves scorched, but I refused to give in. They called me the "Survivor Tree," and I wore my scars as a badge of honor. I became a symbol of hope, resilience, and the enduring spirit of the Oklahoma City community.

In the days, months, and years that followed, the people of Oklahoma City came together to heal. They transformed the site of the tragedy into the Oklahoma City National Memorial, a place of reflection, remembrance, and unity. At its heart, I stood, the Survivor Tree, a living testament to the strength that can emerge from even the darkest of times.

The Healing Begins

The world around me had changed. Smoke billowed into the sky, and the once cheerful surroundings were now chaos. First responders rushed to the scene, their faces etched with determination. They tirelessly worked, pulling survivors from the wreckage, their faces pale with shock and anguish. The cries of pain and grief filled the air.

Amidst the Chaos

Today, I stand tall and strong, a living witness to the past, a symbol of hope for the future. The Oklahoma City National Memorial, with its Reflecting Pool, Field of Empty Chairs, and the Survivor Tree, is a testament to the power of a community united in the face of tragedy. Together, we remember, we heal, and we find the strength to endure, for as long as I stand, so does the spirit of Oklahoma City.

Stand Tall, with Pride

View from the Survivor Tree