OKLAHOMA CITY – In a ceremony 24 years to-the-day after the Oklahoma City Bombing, city officials gathered to plant a living symbol of remembrance descended from the Oklahoma City National Memorial’s Survivor Tree at the MAPS 3 Scissortail Park.
The Survivor Tree is the 110-year-old American Elm that survived the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building bombing on April 19, 1995. Its seedlings have been planted throughout the U.S., but the Scissortail Park tree is one of fewer than a dozen clones.
“On this important day, we plant this Survivor Tree clone knowing that someday it may take the place of the original Survivor Tree that stands guard over the Memorial today,” said Oklahoma City National Memorial Executive Director Kari Watkins. “This tree has long stood as a symbol of our city’s strength and resilience, and it is only fitting we plant one in the new Scissortail Park marking this important history and connection between these two major gathering places in the heart of our city.”
The clone in Scissortail Park has been growing as a sapling at the home of Bob Johnson, the founding chairman of the Memorial’s Board of Trustees. A crew dug it out shortly before transplanting it during Friday afternoon’s brief ceremony.
“This clone of the Survivor Tree is a symbol of the spirit of the people of Oklahoma City,” said MAPS 3 Citizens Advisory Board Park Subcommittee Chairwoman Kim Lowe. “It represents our sense of unity. It reflects our passion for gathering and celebrating life with family and friends. It shows our steadfast commitment to planning and building a better and stronger future for the next generation.”
The transplanted clone is near historic Union Station, 300 SW 7th Street.