Oklahoma City -- Volunteers will gather just after sunrise on 9/11 to pray together and install 168 American flags and 168 Oklahoma flags at Oklahoma Christian University’s Ralph and Maxine Harvey Field of Flags. The biannual commemoration honors the victims and survivors of acts of terrorism that have shaped our recent history, locally and nationally.
The flags are positioned near the entrance to the campus at 2501 East Memorial Rd. for a drive-by reminder. They are a great visual conversation starter to talk about history with Gen Z, our first generation that has no memory of 9/11.
Visitors are invited onto campus to walk through the flags and visit one of only two sites in the world with survivor trees from both the Twin Towers and the Murrah Building. The second site is the Living Grove Memorial Park at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge.
Planted in the heart of campus, between the Gaylord University Center and the Mabee Learning Center, the two survivor trees share an inscribed stone. It is made from granite salvaged from the Murrah Building and embedded with a cross made of steel from the Twin Towers.
“The number of flags is significant because 168 is the number of lives lost when the Murrah bombing occurred,” university President John deSteiguer said. “With both sets of flags, we want to honor our country and state and all those who were impacted by loss in connection with these attacks."
People cannot change history, but they can help honor, reflect on and learn from it to impact the future. Doing so strengthens the community. OC invites the community to visit the Ralph and Maxine Harvey Field of Flags, named in honor of the couple who donated 168 U.S. and Oklahoma flags for OC’s bi-annual memorial.