On this important day in American history, nearly 100 members and spouses of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) gathered at the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum to remember with the theme for the day, Heartache Brings Wisdom.
Memorial Trustee and YPO Education Chair Bob Ross organized the event in conjunction with the Memorial. The event began with a moment of silence followed by Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti speaking to the importance of the Oklahoma Standard. Stakeholder tour guides including Survivor and Family Member Polly Nichols, Survivor Melissa McLawhorn Houston, Oklahoma City Police Chief Bill Citty and Oklahoman reporter Nolan Clay toured the group through the Museum.
The day was culminated with keynote luncheon speaker Andrew Rice, whose brother David was killed on 9/11 in the World Trade Center. “If you do not transform your suffering you will transmit it. There’s a difference between a survivor and a victor. A victor is someone who overcomes these setbacks and moves forward in deeper ways,” said Rice.
“Oklahomans died here on April 19, 1995 – and Oklahomans died in New York City and at the Pentagon on 9/11. So today, we pause to remember. These folks stood with us in our darkest hour, now we stand with them,” Kari Watkins, Executive Director reminded the crowd. She continued, “That was a promise we made 14 years ago and today we still honor that commitment. Every April 19th, we hear from people in New York City, Shanksville and Washington D.C., and every September 11th, we share our thoughts with them. These dates mark important events which changed us forever.”