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.”
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.