April 19th has special significance for me and will be a day I will honor until I am able no longer. On April 19, 1995 our country changed forever. It marked the deadliest act of domestic terrorism in the United States. (Note: Although September 11, 2001 was an act of terrorism committed on U.S. soil, it was not committed by citizens of our country and had international implications.)
My husband (who was my fiancee at the time of the Murrah bombing) and I know many individuals who were in or near the Alfred P. Murrah building at the time of the bombing. My husband lost a dear friend and classmate in the Water Resources Board building. He worked in the Health Department building at the time of the blast and then later moved into the renovated (former) Southwestern Bell building which stands directly across from the Journal Record building. Every day at lunch, he would walk past the gaping hole that had formerly been the Murrah as the Oklahoma City National Memorial was being constructed. To say that the tragedy touched my family’s life is an understatement.
The Oklahoma City National Memorial provides educational lesson plans and STEM activities in addition to field trip opportunities to meet requirements set by the Oklahoma Legislature and to assist with educating today’s youth about violence prevention and positive action choice.
From the Memorial website:
“Oklahoma House Bill 2750 provides that courses of instruction in Oklahoma History will incorporate information about the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building and the role it plays in the history of Oklahoma and our nation. In addition, STANDARDS offer additional opportunities for study in United States and world history.
By teaching about the bombing, educators help their students learn about a significant part of the history of our state and nation, as well as important life lessons – that choices have consequences, that violence does not solve problems or effect change, and that each of us must do our part to make the world a better place.”
For more information about lesson plans and resources, click here.