I know I probably overuse the expression “time flies”…but it really does. It is hard to imagine that it has been 15 years since the Oklahoma City bombing. I remember that morning turning on the TV and seeing the news coverage: horror, sadness and more horror. It was so emotional, I cried and cried. It seemed so surreal. It wasn’t until we drove across country 5 years ago (when we moved from NY to Arizona) that we laid eyes on the actual site of this immense tragedy. While we haphazardly planned our trip sitting at a rest stop already en route to Arizona, we decided to choose I-40 – which would take us through lots of great places, one of which was Oklahoma City. I don’t think I really gave it enough thought, I think I was preoccupied with a 9 month old and a Jack Russell in the car, so I don’t think I was really thinking about the emotional impact a visit to the Oklahoma City National Memorial would have on me or Keith or my dad. WOW! Talk about being taken right back to that horrible day. (imagine what the people of Oklahoma City went through – if you lost someone, or you were in the building, or just heard the blast and saw the after effects – it must have been beyond devastating.) As an outsider, I just felt their pain somehow. Pulling up in our car, parking, taking out the stroller, walking the dog, getting closer and then you see these chairs…The Field of Empty Chairs…oh my, you would have to be made of stone not to be moved by the symbolism…the chairs for everyone killed that day…and the small chairs for the children, it was overwhelming, yet so such a beautiful memorial to those lost that day and for those that survived, the rescuers and the strong people of Oklahoma City. There is so much more. If you have an opportunity to visit this memorial, please do!
Keith and I lived in NY on September 11, 2001 – that crystal clear day is forever etched in our memories – so we have a peculiar understanding of the pain that Oklahoma City is still living through 15 years later…
Here is an excerpt from the Memorial’s website:
“We come here to remember those who were killed, those who survived and those changed forever. May all who leave here know the impact of violence. May this memorial offer comfort, strength, peace, hope and serenity.”