Museum scales back 25th anniversary of Oklahoma City bombing

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Visitors walk next to the reflecting pool at the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. The Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum has announced that it will offer a recorded, one-hour television program in place of a live ceremony to mark the 25th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing due to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum is planning to offer a recorded, one-hour television program in place of a live ceremony to mark the 25th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing due to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.

The program will be offered to television stations statewide for broadcast on April 19 in place of a live ceremony at the museum, museum executive director Kari Watkins said Thursday.

The program is to include the traditional reading of the names of the 168 people killed in the 1995 bombing and 168 seconds of silence.

The museum announced Saturday it would close indefinitely and that the anniversary ceremony would be altered because of the virus.

“What breaks our hearts the most is that as the week has gone by, we know we can’t assemble the large crowds that normally come to this Remembrance Ceremony,” Watkins said, citing recommendations that gatherings be limited to no more than 10 people. “That makes April 19th as we have known it impossible.”

Planned performances by the Oklahoma City Repertory Theatre, the Canterbury Voices of Oklahoma City, and an Oklahoma City Ballet performance of a ballet choreographed to songs by country singer Vince Gill, have all been postponed.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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