Pulse Nightclub Owner Looks To OKC National Memorial For Inspiration

Saturday, June 10th 2017, 9:54 am
By: News 9

Oklahoma City is now connected with another city in tragedy and in healing.  Last year in Orlando, Florida, 49 people died in a mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub.

The OKC Memorial and Museum has been a model for the nation and now it could help inspire those planning the Pulse memorial.

It is a place to remember those who were killed, those who survived, and those changed forever by the tragedy that happened here on April 19,1995.

"The process was as important as the finished product," Kari Watkins.

Kari Watkins is the executive director of the memorial and museum. She says she guided Pulse's owner, Barbara Poma, through a tour of the memorial and says Poma was touched by all the personal stories shared there.

"People drive past this memorial they go downtown and they have to pause and think about what happened here,” said Watkins.

Poma says during her visit she was struck by how beautiful and peaceful it was. And how committed those who created it are to sharing its mission.

"Meeting the staff there and the executive director there was truly, it was my first light for me in my darkness. I was like, okay this can happen, I can do this, and she looked at me and said, ‘You can do this’."

"I think it’s so important that this reflecting pool is here,” said Watkins.

Bob Johnson is the former chairman of the OKC Memorial Foundation and Trust. He headed up the planning for the memorial.

"A memorial process should be just a focus on what physical component are we going to develop what should the design be it should be about healing,” said Johnson.

Both Bob and Kari say that hope is what truly resonates at the Oklahoma City National Memorial, and they hope that they can extend that hope to those planning the Pulse memorial.