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Oklahoma City mayor to NYC: 'It does get better'

NEW YORK (CNN) -- The mayor of one city intimate with terror's impact offered his New York counterpart a token of his city's solidarity and some advice Friday.

Oklahoma City Mayor Kirk Humphries' visit to New York came exactly 6.5 years after a blast tore through the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people and wounding hundreds of others. At the time, it was the worst terror incident in the nation's history.

"The main thing we can say to the people of New York is: it does get better," he said.

Humphries gave Giuliani a seedling from an American elm, "the only thing that stands that was there before the bombing in April 1995," now called the Survivor Tree.

"We send that to the people of New York as a message of hope," said Humphries, who was visiting the city with his wife "to do what we could to help the economy."

The site of the 1995 bombing is now a national memorial. A grassy area has replaced the federal building, and 168 chairs mark the site.

"Oklahomans love New York and we love Mayor Giuliani," Humphries said.

Giuliani, noting that some of the firefighters who died in the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center had helped Oklahoma City dig out after the blast, said new Yorkers feel "a real strong bond with Oklahoma City."

Giuliani promised the seedling would be planted in City Hall Park, "in a very special place."

Asked his advice on how New York should use the site on which the World Trade Center's twin towers stood, Humphries said that is a decision that New Yorkers should make by themselves.

He noted that the federal building sat on half a block, much smaller than the area covered by the World Trade Center.


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