Water Ties Oklahoma City And New York City Memorials Together

Sunday, September 11th 2011, 1:01 am
By: News 9

Ed Murray, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- It was 10 years ago that terrorists attacked the United States. New York City dedicated its 9-11 Memorial Sunday at the site of the World Trade Centers.

Terrorism has created an unbreakable bond between that city and ours. Leaders of our two memorials have compared notes over the years and water plays an important role at both sites.

"It's calming. It's serene. It answers the questions that we say this memorial offers comfort, strength, peace, hope, and serenity," says Oklahoma City National Memorial Executive Director Kari Watkins, yet she believes the pools are also quite different. Ours was built to reflect the faces of visitors.

"As the designers said when they built this place, it would be a face changed forever. And so here it serves several purposes..There, it is very powerful--rushing water that shows a void. It shows what we lost, not just in people, but freedoms and how this country's changed," she says.

Watkins says New York opens its memorial to a different audience than the one in 1995, but the goals remain the same.

"We're fighting a different enemy than we fought when this memorial was built. It's a different world. And so we have to look at that and the context this place plays into a much bigger picture that's international now.

"By forcing ourselves to remember what happened, it causes us, hopefully, to make a personal resolve that we'll do what we can to stop it," she says.

"What happens on Sunday is an important step for America, that we can stop to remember but we can also move forward with our lives."