Monday, January 16, 2012

Journal Entry June 3, 2003

I had started to post this while we were in Oklahoma City and got distracted with RV issues.  I will occasionally be posting blogs covering some of our travels from before I started blogging in 2005.

Tuesday, June 3 We had thunderstorms early this morning, but no winds so the rain came straight down and we didn’t have to close the bedroom windows, which was weird because it flashed and banged and you would have thought there would be high winds. The weather cleared up after dawn, so after breakfast we drove downtown to the Oklahoma City Memorial. I’ll tell you, I’ve never been to a place where my eyes kept tearing up over and over due to the stories and pictures and videos and photographs and words inscribed on granite and concrete and the memorials left in the original protective fencing. It was touching and awe-inspiring for all the stories of heroism and bravery and pain and terror. There is the outdoor memorial area, with the empty chairs representing those that died that are placed in rows to represent the floor where the person was at the time of the bombing, the reflecting pool and two gates with the time of 9:01 on the east end, representing the time of innocence before the bombing and the west gate has 9:03 on it, which represents the time that Oklahomans were changed forever, since the bombing occurred at 9:02. The museum is in the Journal building, which was badly damaged but left standing next to the Murrah building. They have areas inside that show the damage to the building, with the concrete blocks in rubble and damaged office furniture crushed, doors blown outward, etc., as well as videos of survivors and rescuers and volunteers and relatives and friends of those who were lost, pictures and videos of the bombing and of the world’s reaction to it, and the most touching room was the room of pictures of those who died, each picture set in a shadow box and for many of the pictures relatives and/or friends had placed mementos relating to that person in the box, like a child’s favorite toy, or something of special importance to that person. That was a hard room to view. I’m so glad we went there.

The entrance to the memorial showing the time the bomb exploded.

One hundred and sixty-eight chairs; one for each person killed.  Each chair is inscribed with the name of one lost and each chair is lit at night.

Simply titled "Jesus Wept", this statue stands with its back to 168 pillars.
 Written by one of the many search teams looking for survivors.
 Personal memorials left by friends, family and those passing through.  Periodically items are removed and cataloged and the fence fills again.
"Forever changed".  This wall at the opposite end of the reflecting pool shows the time the explosion ended and the beginning of the way our country now had to think about terrorists.

I was looking back in my journals to see when we were here last exploring the city and found my journal entry on our visit to the bombing memorial. As I reread it I realized I really didn't do justice to the museum or to the people who created this memorial or to the people who died that awful day. But our visit left me emotionally overwhelmed and I just couldn't summon the words to describe the emotional impact the entire memorial area had on me. This is one of those places that you just have to come and experience for yourself.

1 comment:

Tracy said...

I've been there so many times but only in the museum once. It is just too hard for me. I remember every single thing I did that day and for several days after.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...