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Where Are You?
The top panel of this bronze plaque has been blurred to protect the answer to this contest.
Photo by JAMES ABRAM
A bronze memorial acknowledges tragedy and honors a city's departed citizens.
By Kayla Mugler
Published September/October 2012
Oklahoma’s deadliest tornado on record inspired this memorial, sculpted by artist Lawrence Tenney Stevens. Commissioned in 1951 by the northwestern Oklahoma community hit by the twister, the plaque’s center panel pays homage to citizens killed by the tornado while two outer panels honor fallen veterans from the first and second World Wars.
Stevens, a Boston-area native who lived in Tulsa during the 1940s while he taught at what was then called the Philbrook Art Center, cast the five-by-three-foot plaque out of bronze. Laurel leaves and berries, signifying memory and honor, form borders between the panels. In tribute to the organization he served during World War II, Stevens included a Red Cross nurse hurrying toward tornado wreckage in the mural’s center panel.
Residents were reminded of the memorial in April of this year, when the city suffered its worst tornado damage since the F5 swept through on April 9, 1947, killing at least 107 people. The catastrophic damage of that tornado—along with technological advances of the 1950s—helped spur the entity now known as the National Weather Service to implement its tornado watch and warning program six years later.
What is the name of this historic memorial and in what Oklahoma town is it located?
Mail entries with name and address to “Where Are You?”, P.O. Box 1468, Oklahoma City, OK 73102 or email to email@example.com before September 17. The answer to last issue’s contest was the Sacred Heart Mission near Konawa.