Thunderbird Park is situated on 15 beautiful acres surrounding
the museum complex. Included in the park are more than 60 different
types of equipment, including wheeled vehicles, full track
vehicles, tanks, aircraft, and large guns. Well landscaped
walkways are lined with beautiful trees, shrubs, and bushes.
These pathways aid visitors in exploring the park where all
equipment and vehicles are identified by plaques.
The 45th Infantry Division Monument
rises 40 feet high and is crowned by Thunderbirds on each side.
honors the men of the 45th Infantry Division from both World
War II and Korea who gallantly represented their states and bravely
served their country in times of war. The monument was originally
erected in downtown Oklahoma City and dedicated in 1959, but
advancement of downtown business and construction of skyscrapers
left the monument hidden from view. It was moved to the grounds
of the 45th Infantry Division Museum and was re-dedicated on
September 20, 2003.
The park is a wonderful place to
spend an afternoon, especially on one of Oklahoma City's beautiful
sunny days. A small picnic area with two tables is available
on a first come first serve basis.
General Harry M. Wyatt III
The 45th Infantry Division Museum is the Nations largest State operated Military
History Museum. Oklahoma
City is located near the geographic center of the country and is home
to the Oklahoma
City National Memorial and Museum. This is a beautiful city and an
outstanding location for the Afghanistan & Iraq Freedom Reigns Memorial.
letter is to confirm our intent that the Oklahoma National
Guard will host the Global
War on Terrorism Memorial here in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma."
The District of Columbia was not a candidate due to the 1986
Commemorative Works Act. Following are several provisions of
"All memorials in areas administered
by the National Park Service and the General Services Administration
authorized by Congress.
Memorial sites and design must be approved by NCPC, the Commission
of Fine Arts, and either the Secretary of the Interior, in
the case of National Park Service land, or the Administrator
of the General Services, in the case of GSA land.
The National Capital Memorial Commission advises the Secretary
of the Interior and the Administrator of General Services on
policies regarding commemorative works. The NCPC Chairman is
an ex-officio member of this Commission.
An event or individual cannot be memorialized prior to the
twenty-fifth anniversary of the event or the death of the individual.
recently learned that the time frame for wars has now been
ten years after the end of the event.
Military monuments and memorials may only
commemorate a war or similar major military conflict or a
branch of the Armed
Forces. Monuments and memorials commemorating lesser conflicts
or a unit of the Armed Forces are not permitted."
How long will it take to complete
this memorial? That I cannot predict. Once
the funds are in place we estimate the time for construction
to be 18-24 months.
As mentioned on The
Memorial page, this is a living memorial. If it’s
completed before the wars are declared over, new tributes will
be added each year honoring those lost and wounded.
Congress established a commission
to create a memorial to Roosevelt in 1955. The memorial was
opened in 1997 – forty
two years later. The National WWII Memorial was
dedicated on May 29, 2004 – fifty
nine years after the war ended. Funding and construction
took eleven years. A group of Vietnam veterans led by Jan C.
Scruggs moved from incorporation to dedication of the Vietnam
Veterans Memorial in 3 years and 7 months. That was very impressive.
However, it was almost ten years after
the war ended before the memorial was dedicated. This group still
did a wonderful job considering the hostility service personnel
faced after that war. The Air Force Memorial took fourteen
years to complete after the foundation was incorporated.
Please read this 2007 AP