Friday, March 28, 2014
(OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma) – Iowa Gov. Terry E. Branstad yesterday joined Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin in visiting a grove of trees the people of Iowa donated to the victims of the April 19,1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City. This is the first time that Branstad has returned to view the bombing memorial tree garden since he took part in a dedication ceremony in November 1995.
“After the bombing in Oklahoma City in 1995, the governor’s office worked with Iowa citizens to pay tribute to the victims of this horrific act in Oklahoma,” said Branstad. “We remembered that two years prior to the bombing, Oklahomans graciously donated food and water to Iowans affected by the 1993 floods. I was honored to be able to pay my respects to the victims of the bombing and visit the grove that Iowans so generously donated during a difficult time for Oklahomans.”
The idea for the grove came from former Iowa State Horticulturist Dan Cooper. Horticulture students from Iowa community colleges and Iowa State University planted the trees. The Iowa State Horticulture Society partnered with Iowa citizens and businesses to raise funds to cover the costs of the planting.
A November 17, 1995, article published by The Oklahoman described the grove of trees stating, “When the linden trees are mature, their tops will form a thick green canopy. The trees have a nondescript yellow bloom but it has a marvelous spicy fragrance, Click said. He said the crab apple trees, which will be planted in a horseshoe shape in the center of the grove, have a dark pinkish-red blossom. They will be planted around a large piece of red marble, salvaged from the rubble of the Murrah Building, being placed in the center of the grove. On it will be a plaque dedicating the grove as a gift from the Iowa State Horticulture Society.”
"Oklahomans will never forget the outpouring of support from across the country that helped us cope with the senseless and cold-blooded attack on the Murrah Building," Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin said. "Acts of kindness provided hope during those dark days. We are grateful for the many Iowans who donated their time and resources to design and plant a bombing memorial garden at the Oklahoma state Capitol."
Branstad is visiting Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, for a National Governor’s Association conference on education and the workforce. Fallin, who was Oklahoma’s lieutenant governor when the grove was planted, invited Branstad to visit the memorial.
Photos of the visit are available on Gov. Branstad’s website. Photos are courtesy of Michael McNutt, Press Secretary in the Office of Governor Mary Fallin.