Monday, January 05, 2009

What I did for New Year's Day

Hello, I have not completely abandoned this blog, as some might suspect, since my writing is so sporadic. No, it is because I want to upload some pictures to the blog, but I seem to have misplaced my camera in all the holiday hoopla. Instead of waiting any longer, I'll just tell you about my new year's vacation and upload the pictures later when I find the camera...if I find the camera.

It has been a desire of mine to go to Oklahoma City to see the site of the 1995 bombing of the the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, or I should say the memorial site and museum dedicated to the memory of it. Why I had this desire, I do not know, although part of it could be because my dear hubby could be in a situation like that at any time due to his job, and the loss of my husband in the line of duty s a deep-rooted fear of mine that I wanted to confront head-on.

First off, if you have never been to the site, you should go. As far as I am concerned, the 7 hour drive was worth it. Although I did none of the driving, so my view may be skewed a bit. :)
The site is composed of the footprint of where the building was and its adjacent parking lot. There is a large black upright rectangular slab of rock (granite?) on one end of the site with "9:01" engraved on it, then a huge reflecting pool, rectangular shaped again, the length of the original building, then another slab with "9:03" engraved on it. The pool is a symbol of that final minute of so many lives before they were irrevocably changed forever.
Then there are the chairs, 168 chairs composed of a metal backing and a frosted square base. Each chair represents one of the people that died that day. They are of two sizes - the smaller size represents the children who perished.

The museum itself is wonderfully done. It gives the visitor an ability to step into that day, from the minutes before the explosion, to the explosion and its aftermath that day, all the way through to years after it is all done. There are video clips of the news coverage, interviews of the victims and survivors, artifacts (IE. bits of the car that was involved in the explosion, an actual room persevered so you can see the damage, clothing, crime scene pictures, etc.), and a memorial to each victim. Watching the video clips of the parents rushing to the scene, asking where is my child, and then seeing their commentary of their feelings and emotions from that moment was heart-rending. (There was a daycare in the building. Only 4 children survived.)

You are able to view what the relatives of the victims have to say about how their how lives were impacted, some moved on in positive way, others have barely clung to day-to-day reality. There also are after effects that were more positive such as how laws were changed to benefit victims of crimes like this, and you get to see that side too.

1 comment:

Envoy-ette said...

Wow-what a powerful visit that must have been. I hope you find your camera, I would like to see your pictures.