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Sunday, April 19, 2020

OKLAHOMA CITY (April 19, 2020)-  Governor Kevin Stitt today joined federal, state and local leaders in recognizing the 25th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing in a virtual Remembrance Ceremony. 

A copy of the speech as prepared for delivery can be found below: 

This anniversary marks a milestone for our state and people that provides us with an opportunity to remember the past while also considering where we stand today.

On this day, 25 years ago, our people experienced a senseless attack that shook our state and nation to its very core. No words or measure of time can fully heal the scars rooted in that day… but we will, and we must, never forget the wisdom we gained and the lessons we learned.

This is why we take time to remember.

We remember the 168 lives lost and the hundreds injured on that tragic day.

We remember the selflessness of our rescue workers, emergency responders, and volunteers who answered the call to help their fellow Oklahomans.

We remember the families who lost loved ones and the survivors whose lives were forever changed.

And we remember the unbreakable spirit of Oklahomans who united together on the darkest day in our state’s history.

We also remember so that we can continue to teach the next generation about the impact of violence, the power of prayer, and the strength of our people.

25 years ago, we were faced with two options, allow hate and terror to reign or rise up together in kindness and love.

Where there was meant to be division, Oklahomans responded in unity.

Where there was fear, Oklahomans responded with courage.

Where there was destruction, Oklahomans responded with resilience.

And where there was chaos, Oklahomans responded with hope.

The personification of the heart and strength of our people can be seen in the story of the Survivor Tree, an American Elm that withstood the impact of the bombing and now overlooks the hallowed grounds of the Oklahoma City Memorial where it has grown and stands stronger than ever before.

As you walk around the Survivor Tree, you are met by the words Reverend Billy Graham spoke to the people of Oklahoma during a prayer service on April 23, 1995.

“The Spirit of this City and Nation will not be defeated. Our deeply rooted faith sustains us.”

These words continue to ring true today.

25 years ago, Oklahomans showed the nation and world what it looks like for a community to stand together in faith, neighbor helping neighbor.

25 years later, where once there was devastation, there is now a city and a state that has not only survived- but thrived.

Our roots of faith have sustained us, and we continue to see the Oklahoma Standard displayed as we stand together at this milestone- stronger than ever before.  


Last Modified on Aug 13, 2021
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