At noon on President's Day, Oklahomans made one more journey to a place we all revere to dedicate the Oklahoma City National Memorial Center -- the final component of our memorial to the events and people of April 19, 1995.
At this writing, President Bush was scheduled to be with us for this very special event. As in past observances at the site of the bombing, national and local leaders helped cut the ribbons and express the thoughts of our state and nation, but the most important people there were those most directly affected by the bombing.
The Memorial Center is housed in the old Journal-Record Building on the north side of the beautiful outdoor Memorial we dedicate last April 19, on the fifth anniversary of the bombing.
It contains exhibits, video archives and interactive displays that tell our story in very personal terms. If there is a centerpiece to the Memorial Center, it is the personal stories and experiences and artifacts of those who experienced the bombing first hand, and who triumphed over terror.
There are rescuer uniforms and tools, scarred belongings of the victims, photos and even a section of the building itself, still in the damaged condition from almost six years ago.
As visitors walk through the Memorial Center, they will see and hear and events of April 19, 1995 and its aftermath. The displays are a fine tribute to our people, who refused to be cowed by terrorism. They also thank those who came to Oklahoma from all over America to help.
The final area in the Memorial Center is dedicated to children, and includes an interactive learning center that teaches lessons of non-violence.
The Memorial Center is the only section of the OKC National Memorial with an admission charge, to sustain and provide upkeep for the entire Memorial. It is important to remember that our Memorial is unique in the National Park system by being locally built and financed. It is OUR Memorial, and it is also America's.