Writing these posts in hindsight has allowed me to have a different view than if I had written them in real-time. I had planned a lot of travel this summer because I knew Madison would start taking college classes full time, and we wouldn’t have the same kind of opportunity to travel. The timing worked amazingly well, considering there was no foresight to the upcoming pandemic that would shut down the entire world.
We were en route to Kansas for my father-in-law’s 95th birthday celebration.
When you drive from Texas to Kansas, you pass directly through Oklahoma City. I had made a note to myself when we visited the Spies, Traitors, Saboteurs: Fear and Freedom in America traveling exhibit at the George Bush Museum that Madison didn’t know about the Oklahoma bombing on April 19th, 1995 that killed 168 people, and we needed to cover that. The Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum is an amazing tribute to those that lost their lives that day. This memorial is one of the best thought-out memorials I have ever seen. They also have a Junior Ranger badge program which I feel is one of the best ways to learn hands-on. Across the street from the entrance is a dedicated plaque and a statue of Jesus weeping.
You enter through one of the memorial gates across the street.
After you enter the other side of the memorial gate shows the time of 9:01. This represents the time of innocence before the attack.
Then you see the 168 chairs representing each life lost, 19 of them being children. They illuminate in the evening. The reflection pool represents the reflection of someone forever changed by visiting the memorial.
At the other end of the memorial are only remaining walls from the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. This represents the survivors of the attack.
And the other end of the memorial is another memorial gate. The time engraved on it is 9:03. The moment healing began. They frame the time of the attack at 9:02.
If you ever have the opportunity to visit this memorial, I highly recommend it! You can also pick up a Junior Ranger packet or take a free Ranger-led tour.
Next up on this adventure is the Brown v. Board of Education National Site and the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum, and the Harry S. Truman National Historic Site.