Teleflora and New Leaf Floral provided a rose for each chair, in the Field of Empty Chairs at the Oklahoma City Memorial Museum. On April 19, 2013 at the 18th Annual Day of Rememberance, the roses were placed on each chair to honor the 168 who were lost in the OKC bombings at 9:03 am on April 19th, 1995. Teleflora has 260 employees located in our office in Oklahoma City, OK.
FIELD OF EMPTY CHAIRS: The empty chairs represent the 168 empty chairs at the dinner tables of the victims’ families. Hand-crafted from glass, bronze, and stone, each chair has a victim’s name etched in the glass base. 19 smaller chairs represent the children killed in the bombing.
The chairs are arranged in nine rows to symbolize the nine floors of the building; each person’s chair is on the row (or the floor) on which the person worked or was located when the bomb went off. A column of five chairs represents the five people who died but were not in the Murrah Building at the time.
At the memorial ceremony 168 seconds of silence is observed at 9:03 a.m., reflecting the moment the nation was #ForeverChanged.
THE SURVIVOR TREE: An elm tree across the street from the Murrah Building was heavily damaged by the force of the blast. It ripped most of the branches and glass and debris were embedded in its trunk and fire from the cars parked beneath it blackened what was left. The tree narrowly missed being chopped down by investigators who wanted to recover evidence hanging in its branches and embedded in its bark. Against all odds the tree survived, in 1996 family members, survivors and rescue workers gathered for a memorial ceremony by the tree noticed it was beginning to bloom again. The “Survivor Tree” now thrives.
THE FENCE: After the bombings, Oklahomans placed mounds of flowers, stuffed animals, personal notes, photographs, cards and prayers on the chain link fence that was erected around the perimeter of the bombsite. The fence stayed up for four years. 210 feet of the Fence was moved to the Outdoor Memorial, along the 9:03 side or the ‘healing’ side. The remainder of the Fence is in storage. Visitors may still leave small items along and in the Fence.
MEMORIAL LOCATION: The memorial is located in downtown Oklahoma City on the former site of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, which was destroyed in the 1995 bombing. This building was located on NW 5th Street between N. Robinson Avenue and N. Harvey Avenue.
Watch this Teleflora OKC employee video about the memorial and the marathon
This article is brought to you by Michelle Farrell