Sunday, March 30, 2008

Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial

Oklahoma City National Bombing Memorial

This past Saturday my cousin Jill and I went on a road trip. We wanted to end at the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial and take some pictures. We picked up my daughter and went to observe a moment in history that you may or may not be familiar with. As an Oklahoman this Memorial has very special meaning to me. My community sent fellow police and fire rescuers to assist in this tragedy. It consumed my life for days, weeks, and I guess even years as I am still so affected by it. I can remember going to sleep with the TV on so if I would wake up in the night I would know what was going on. This went on for a very long time. We heard story after story of the people who died all because of the hatred of one man to the government. 168 lives were lost that day, and thousands of people survived or were affected by this dastardly act. Remember how 9-11 touched your life? Well that is how 4-19 affected, changed, Oklahoma forever. I want to share a some pictures that I took, I don't know all the history so I will try to share it to the best of my memory.
"We Come Here To Remember"

This is what you see when you walk towards the memorial on the west side. You park out on the street, cross at the light and are greeted by this huge granite wall starts the process of remembering.

Welcome and come with me to reflect.
The fence is a part of the healing process. Soon as the bombing occurred people all around the world left things on the fence. The building you see behind the fence says Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial Museum. Everything from the fence was saved and still is to this day. If it placed there by a survivor or family member it stays for 30 days or until they ask it to be removed. Otherwise items stay for a couple weeks to a month. All items are tagged, recorded and logged into storage for the museum. This is what each visitor is greeted by.

This fence is to the south where the previous picture is the fence

to the north of the entrance wall.

Once you enter in you see the wall on the other end .

Notice the steeple and cross in the right hand corner?

This was a very cloudy day so it is a little hard to see.

Offers some peace doesn't it?

The time, the minute, before the world changed forever.

The time, the very minute AFTER the world was changed forever.


In between the two walls of time is a reflection pool.

The water is always flowing, the sound of peace and tranquility.

The water is 3/4" deep, but represents the mysteries of life.

Inside to the south are the chairs, each one represents a person who died.

No longer to sit at the dinner table of life with their family and loved ones.

They are at the place where the rental truck parked to blow up the building.

There are nine rows to represents the 9 floors of the building.

Each person is placed in the row of the floor they died on.

The little chairs are for the children, either in the daycare or with their parents.

Most of the children were killed on the second floor.

These five chairs are separated from the other just a little.

They are for the five people who lost their lives out side of the building.

This is the chair of the little girl that was on the cover of the
magazine where the fire fighter carried her out of the ruble.
Yes, she died. Little Balee Almon.
Many tears stream when people see that powerful picture.
It is sad to remember, but important.

The "Survivor Tree"
This tree actually survived the blast. You can see the char to this day.
The tree is a 90 year old American Elm with seeds taken every year and planted.
This tree by all rights should have perished, but it "survived".
Offers hope, peace, and faith.

Here is the survivor tree with the Journal of Records building behind it.

This tree was just across the street from the blast.

You can still see damage to this building and this

building is now the museum.

This message is written on the wall of the above building.

This was written by team 5 who were searching for survivors of the blast.
This is an apartment building just to the west of the memorial.

It was occupied at the time of the blast and suffered damage.

It is still lived in today and repairs have not been made. Scary huh?

This building has the actual recording of the van pulling up, parking,

and Timothy McVey running away. It also recorded the blast.

So that would be the 9:03 wall you are looking at. The times are

on the inside of the walls, not facing the street.

A view of the Memorial from the Survivor Tree area

And looking at OKC skyline.

These ladies are there to remember.

I wonder are they survivors, family of victims,

or like me, there to pay respect?

The chairs in their rows.

When you think of Oklahoma, please don't think of us as that state
that had the bombing, how tragic.
Think of us as that state that is strong,
can overcome, and come together in times of need.
Whether it is bombing, a tornado, or a bridge collapsing.


Debbie in NC said...

Oh Lisa...

Gosh hon you took me back to that day. Yes, I remember it all and I was watching with the world. You have done an absolutely AMAZING job of sharing this!

I had no idea what the memorial looked like. This is a place I would like to visit one day. What a beautiful tribute to the ones we lost. God bless you for this...

Shirley said...

I like so many others remember where I was and what I was doing on that morning.

My friend's daughter was a trauma nurse at a hospital where many of the victims came. She grew to hate the sound of the helicopter as it came in to land.

You've done a great job of telling this story with your words and pictures.

This is another tragedy we should never forget.

Thank you.

We are THAT Family said...

Wow-what an AMAZING post you gave the world today. Thank you for helping us never forget.

Daily Muse said...

Just being there again and listening to the worker talk of the events of that as they unfolded brought back so many memories of that time. The world, although changed forever, has seemed to pick up the hectic pace once again...thank you for helping all of us remember a time we should never forget!

Jill S. said...

I remember this all too well. What a beautiful tribute!! Thanks for sharing it.