Oklahoma City

National Memorial

(1997 - 2004)

Oklahoma City National Memorial is a Fine Memorial, But It's Not a National Park

National Parks Traveler

The Oklahoma City National Memorial was established by the Oklahoma City National Memorial Act, which was signed into law on October 9, 1997, by President Bill Clinton. At this point, the site was a national park.

However, on January 23, 2004, President George W. Bush signed legislation that transferred the Memorial to the Oklahoma City National Memorial Foundation, the NGO that originally raised the money and built the Memorial and Museum. Under the terms of the agreement, the National Park Service continues to provide to the affiliated unit the same level of interpretive services it always has for the part of the facility consisting of the 3.3-acre Outdoor Symbolic Memorial, whose Gates of Time symbolically frame the moment of destruction (9:02 a.m.).

A cynic might ask whether the agreement also included a provision that the National Park Service must continue to advertise the site as though it were still a national park.