Tree With a Story: Edmond's 'Survivor Tree' Seedling

In the aftermath of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, the Edmond community was shaken not only by the magnitude of this tragic event, but also by the loss of eighteen of its residents. As a tribute to these victims and their families, a monument was designed by architect Duane Mass to be placed in Mitch Park. The Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial for Edmond Victims located northeast of Pavilion 4 in the park was dedicated in 1997.

At the dedication event Mark Bays, an urban forester with Oklahoma Forestry Services at the time, gifted a tree seedling to the community. This small tree was grown from a seed collected from the Survivor Tree, an American elm in the Murrah building’s parking lot which withstood the force of the bomb in 1995. This tree is a major component of the Oklahoma City National Memorial today. The Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum states that, “The Survivor Tree is a symbol of human resilience. Today, as a tribute to renewal and rebirth, the inscription around the tree reads, “The spirit of this city and this nation will not be defeated; our deeply rooted faith sustains us.”
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Planted shortly after the Edmond memorial’s dedication, this Survivor Tree offspring now grows on the lawn in front of the monument, offering beauty and shade for those approaching to reflect upon the events of April 19th, 1995.

Read the previous installment of Trees With a Story, and if you have an idea for a tree that we could write about in this column, let us know!
Check out more topics from the Winter 2015 issue of Edmond Tree Mail