OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum honored Oklahoma City first response leaders with a 25th Anniversary Badge Pinning ceremony on Friday.
Memorial Museum Executive Director Kari Watkins and Oklahoma City National Memorial Chairman Bob Ross pinned special badges on Oklahoma City Fire Chief Richard Kelley, Oklahoma City Police Chief Wade Gourley and EMSA President Jim Winham, according to an OKC National Memorial & Museum news release.
Each recipient may wear the badge with his agency's approval throughout April as the community remembers "those who were killed, those who survived and those changed forever" in the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995.
“These are a special badge done by our friends at MTM Recognition. They’ve long been a partner, and worked with us in the earliest days when they gave out volunteer pins after the Oklahoma City bombing. It’s critical that we Look Back and Think Forward, in this 25th Anniversary year,” Watkins said.
All three recipients were moved by the honor.
“We are honored to be able to wear these and we think it’s an excellent way to honor the 25th Anniversary along with the families, survivors and the First Responders that responded down here,” Gourley said.
“It’s really important to us as First Responders to be able to wear this, to be able to look at it and reflect what went on that day, and the 17 days we were working here,” Kelley said.
“It’s taught across the nation of how this operation worked and it was like Chief said, ‘very horrendous’ but a lot of good came out of it. We are very honored,”Winham said.
Ross thanked the three emergency response leaders for their continuous heroism.
“We honor you; you serve our community so well. We appreciate what you did that day and what your organizations do every single day in our community, protecting us and keeping us safe. Thank you all very much,” expressed Bob Ross, Oklahoma City National Memorial Foundation Chairman.
The recipients were also given a 25th Anniversary coin.
Replicas of the special badges and coins are for sale, and a portion of each purchase will be donated to the OKC National Memorial & Museum.
For information on how to purchase a badge or coin, contact MTM Recognition, 3405 SE 29th St., in Del City, (405) 609-6908.