Oklahoma City National Memorial

March 28, 2016 at 5:30 am (Uncategorized)

Redbud tree and memorial chairs at former site of Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building

Redbud tree and memorial chairs at former site of Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building

Oklahoma City is 90 miles from where I now live, and visiting the national memorial dedicated to the terrorist attack of 20 years ago was on my list of things to do. However, the morning I had a medical appointment at the VA hospital there, another terrorist attack occurred thousands of miles away in Brussels, Belgium. So this would be an appropriate day to visit the Oklahoma City National Memorial.

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The reflecting pool symbolizes the point in time, at 9:02 a.m., on April 19, 1995, that the bomb placed by Timothy McVeigh exploded, killing 168 men, women, and children, and injuring hundreds of others.

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The two walls that bookend the reflecting pool symbolize the time before, and the time after that moment.

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9:01 – when all was well, it was a normal day. People went to work, dropped their young children off at the daycare center in the building, and began their day. An ordinary day.

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The pool and the empty chairs represent that brief moment when everything changed.

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9:03. Nothing would ever be the same. Not for these people and their families. Not for Oklahoma City. Not for America. Or the world. Yet, there would be healing. For some, there was forgiveness. McVeigh was caught, his co-conspirator Terry Nichols was as well. There was justice to follow. Not enough justice to replace innocent lives. There is never enough justice for that. But life must go on.

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Original wall of the Alfred P. Murrah Building

Original wall of the Alfred P. Murrah Building

Pine trees are growing around the raw and jagged reminder of the bomb’s force. It damaged or destroyed many other buildings nearby as well, including the Journal Record newspaper building, which is now the museum.

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The chair sculptures were placed in the area the victims were when the bomb went off.

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It is amazing enough that this tree survived, but even more so because it is an American elm, a species that has been nearly wiped out from Dutch elm disease. All kinds of symbolism can found in that.

Survivor Tree - an American elm

Survivor Tree – an American elm

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Tiles made by schoolchildren are outside the museum

Tiles made by schoolchildren are outside the museum

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The National Park Service operates the memorial, but the museum is run by a partner organization. There is no charge to walk the grounds, but there is a fee for the museum. The exhibits are very powerful, and it’s hard not to shed a tear or two when reliving this terrible day.

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This rivet was drilled into the brass emblem by the force of the blast

This rivet was drilled into the brass emblem by the force of the blast

 

Photographs of those killed

Photographs of those killed

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Writing messages in chalk

Writing messages in chalk

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Never forget.

 

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Website:  CindyMcIntyre.com

Online gallery:  Smugmug and Fine Art America

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Contact:  cindy at cindymcintyre.com

 

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1 Comment

  1. Patti Henshaw said,

    Beautiful pictures Cindy. Beautiful but very heartbreaking memorial of a terrible terrorist attack on innocent people. With similar attacks all over the world its just seems this evil will never end…

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