Tragedy in Oklahoma

May 21, 2013

Letter by 9/11 Memorial President Joe Daniels on the tragedy in Oklahoma

“It's really impossible to provide much guidance on how we as individuals can deal with the horrific news that is still emerging from Oklahoma. Stories of children killed while desperately trying to take shelter from the historic storm; of the massive number of injuries hospitals are dealing with; of families whose every possession including their homes have been simply eliminated. Each one of us in our limited and personal capacity will have to sort this through with friends, family and colleagues, or by ourselves over the next days and weeks.

As an organization, the 9/11 Memorial understands that while the grief and shock will never fully leave those affected there can, should, and will be a massive wave of support from every corner of the country. This support, be it messages of hope and healing or much-needed financial assistance for on the ground responders, will need to come from individuals who through their collective action will allow us to say that as a country, when Oklahoma needed us in 2013, we were there for them.

The relationship between Oklahoma and New York City is one forged in compassion. New Yorkers were there for Oklahoma in April of 1995 in the wake of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, and they were here for us after 9/11. The bonds we share with Oklahoma were poignantly captured in a New York Times story on 9/13/01:

‘Gov. Frank Keating grieved especially for Ray Downey, one of the firefighters presumed dead in New York, recalling his help in the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing. Officials of the Oklahoma City National Memorial Trust unveiled a full-page advertisement they placed in The New York Times today reading: 'You stood with us in our darkest hour. Now we stand with you.’

To this day, the relationship continues and it does so with the help of some of the 9/11 Memorial's staff. We, along with our partners at the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, share in the recognition of the tremendous power that emerges when we come together in response to tragedy.

To those who would like to help the rescue and relief efforts in Oklahoma, the Huffington Post has compiled a list of reputable organizations.

Our hearts and prayers are with all those impacted by the tornado.”

Best wishes,
Joe Daniels
President & CEO