Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Survivor Tree-OKC Memorial #5

We come here to remember
those who were killed, those who survived
and those changed forever.
May all who leave here know the impact of violence.
May this memorial offer comfort, strength,
peace, hope and serenity.

Survivor Tree: Witness to Tragedy, Symbol of Strength
It is more than 80 years old. An American Elm Tree in the heart of downtown Oklahoma City, it survived the bomb’s blast and witnessed one of the worst terrorist attacks on American soil. Today, we call it the Survivor Tree.

On April 19, 1995, the tree was almost chopped down to recover pieces of evidences that hung from its branches due to the force of the 4,000 pound bomb that killed 168 and injured hundreds just yards away. Evidence was retrieved from the branches and the trunk of the tree.

Cuttings of the Survivor Tree are growing in nurseries all over Oklahoma. Owners of landscape nurseries, arborists, urban foresters and expert horticulturists from across the state and country have come together to work and preserve this piece of history. None of these people have ever charged the Memorial for their work. Each year, the Facilities and Grounds crew at the Memorial provides Bays and the nursery men hundreds of seeds. They plant the seeds and distribute the resulting saplings each year on the anniversary of the bombing. Today, thousands of Survivor Trees are growing in public and private places all over the United States.

The Survivor Tree is a symbol of human resilience. Today, as a tribute to renewal and rebirth, the inscription around the tree reads, “The spirit of this city and this nation will not be defeated; our deeply rooted faith sustains us.”


  1. Amazing story Kate, and brilliant tribute to a tragic event.

  2. I love this - I am a self-described tree hugger - and I love that it has become a symbol of survival.

  3. Powerful story. This is a wonderful thing to spread the survivor tree throughout the country.


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