OKLAHOMA CITY — Millions of people from across the world have walked the grounds of the Oklahoma City National Memorial.
Time takes a toll on the grounds and structures, which is why the 9:03 Fund has come into play.
It costs nearly $3.5 million a year to preserve the memorial and museum and now this new fund seeks to get $10 million to help maintain the historic monument.
“Of all the tasks confronting the memorial and museum, preserving and nurturing are the most unnoticed and the most necessary, and of course, the most expensive, ” Gary Pierson said, the Chairman of the Memorial Foundation.
Co-Chair of the 9:03 Fund, Mike Turpen, said the money would not only help maintain the grounds but it would help with renovations and bring in new exhibits with never-before-seen artifacts.
“We’ve got to continue to raise money to keep these doors open, to continue to tell the story, to continue to tell the message, to the 168 people that died that day, April 19, 1995, they will never be forgotten, they will always be remembered,” Turpen said.
So far, they have raised more than $5 million.
Former First Lady of Oklahoma, Kim Henry, is among those who have donated.
“This is such a reflection of who we are as a people and how we come together and support one another in times of tragedy,” Henry said.
Turpen said the generosity of fellow Oklahomans simply serves as a reminder that evil does not prevail.
“We’ve shown that right can win out over wrong, that good can conquer evil and that ultimately we can achieve victory over victimization,” Turpen said.
The Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum receives no outside funding from federal, state or local government.
Turpen said the 9:03 Fund will provide permanent funding for the memorial.