Looking Back, Thinking Forward

19th Annual Student Essay Contest

The year 2020 will mark 25 years since the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Since then, much has changed in the United States and the world, yet much is still the same. You were not alive in 1995, but perhaps you understand what life was like for young people and/or have some perceptions of what society was like in general at that time. Family members and other adults who remember April 19, 1995, may have also influenced your perception of what society was like during that period.

And what can we learn from history? That the perfect should not be the enemy of the good. That compromise is the oxygen of democracy. And that remembrance should be a means to the end of our journey toward a more perfect union.
— Jon Meacham

The essay committee at the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum is deeply interested in what you, the young people of the United States, think about the state of your community, especially in comparison to your perception of how things have changed in the past 25 years. The essay committee is also curious about your thoughts on our society going forward – what are your beliefs about the future of your community, nation, and world? Do you feel hopeful? Why or why not?

Students in grades 5-12 may participate in this year’s Essay Contest, and are eligible to win a cash prize and have the opportunity to be recognized at a ceremony at the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum in April 2020.

Over 440 essays from 32 states and the District of Columbia were submitted in last year’s essay contest, with winning essays from students in Oklahoma, New Jersey, California, North Carolina and Texas.

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Allegiance Credit Union is proud to sponsor the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum Essay Contest for the 12th consecutive year. On April 19, 1995, the then Federal Employees Credit Union, was located on the third floor of the Murrah Building and lost 18 of 33 employees and over 100 members in the bombing. The credit union survived with the support of other credit unions and continues to thrive 25 years later thanks to the Oklahoma City community. “This essay contest is just one of the many ways Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum is sharing lessons of hope with our young people,” said Amy Downs, Survivor and Allegiance Credit Union President/CEO.

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