Sunday, April 26, 2009

Oklahoma City National Memorial

From the expo it was about a 6 block walk through downtown to the memorial. Downtown Oklahoma City seems to be a nice place--We kept running into these random brightly painted buffaloe on the walk...
and saw some unique modern art.
This is one of the 168 banners that were placed along the race course- in memory of each of the victims of the bombing there over 10 years ago now.
This church has a tradition of being involved in the marathon each year by holding special race-related services (included the blessing of the shoes), as well as a free pancake breakfast the morning of the race which appeared to be pretty popular. Overall, I seem to be fairly tolerant of what I can stomach before running long distances-- but pancakes is one of the few things that don't do well for me before a run, so I didn't make it to the breakfast race morning.
The memorial is an amazing place. The first thing you see walking up is this long wall of flowers and memories people leave in memory of the victims.
Entry to the memorial-- 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.

The two main walls of the memorial are separated by a large reflecting pool. Each of the walls have one of two times carved into the stone-- 9:01, the time when Oklahoma City was innocent on that day, and 9:03, by which time the city had changed forever. It really is amazing to think about the impact of what can happen in an instant.

The buiding next to this area serves as the Memorial Museum-- and is the same building that was there when the bombing took place. You can see along this wall a lot of the cracks and damage-- resulting from the impact of the bomb.

Also on that same wall---
The only remaining part of one of the original walls of the Federal Building.
After the bomb went off this was the only tree left remaining standing in the building courtyard and has come to be known as the Survivor Tree. It is one of the most beautiful and perfect trees I had ever seen, and has become symbolic for a number of different things around Oklahoma City-- including the spirit of the Memorial Marathon. The focus of this event is not on the terrible violence of that day-- but remembering what was lost, and finding the hope to move forward.

Just outside the entrance to the museum--
While I was at the memorial later that night, I overheard one gentleman introduce 2 teenage children to one of the guards as two of the 4 child survivors of the bombing. He talked about what a pleasure it has been to see them grow up in the midst of trying to deal with the great losses their family endured that terrible day. More proof of just how much the families impacted by this tragedy seem to be focused more on hope than on anger over what happened.

Just inside the museum--

I would have liked to have visited the whole museum, but they were nearing closing time and I was trying to limit the amount of time I spent on my feet anyway that day. So we spent the next few minutes relaxing in the courtyard waiting for the pasta dinner.

1 comment:

Roxanna said...


We must have been right behind you all evening. Vicki and I went to the museum too but they stop letting people in at 5. So, then we walked around the Memorial before the pasta dinner. We met up with Teresa, James and Randy at the dinner. We then headed to the Blessing of the Shoes. Great photos! Can't wait to read the rest of your blog posts!