Sunday, April 27, 2014

deep in the heart of texas (part three)

scratch that title....we're not in texas anymore! i've been calling this our texas trip, but the last two days were spent in oklahoma city. we made a stop here to see the oklahoma city national memorial & museum. on april 19, 1995, one of the greatest domestic terrorist attacks took place in the united states. i was just a little first grader, but i do remember hearing about the attack and recognizing that something serious had happened. beyond that, i had no clue of the devastation and despair that followed.
walking through the george w. bush presidential library & museum the day before made the events of 9/11 on the forefront of my mind, so this memorial was another reminder of horror turned to hope & the unity found in tragic times.
everything in the outdoor memorial had symbolic meaning. these were called the gates of time. the first gate had 9:01 inscribed on it. this represents the innocence of the city before the attack. the second gate had the time 9:03 which represents the moment everyone was changed forever after the bombing. the reflecting pool in between of the two gates has gentle flowing water to to provide a peaceful setting & soothe the wounds for what happened at 9:02 that tragic day.

this is a 90 year old survivor tree that was still standing after the attack. it symbolizes that deeply rooted faith will sustain all.
we also walked through the museum that goes into detail of all the events of that day. i didn't take many pictures inside, but it helped by giving further insight into all that transpired & the investigation that followed.  
the field of empty chairs contains 168 chairs symbolizing a life lost. this includes 19 smaller chairs for children who died. they are arranged in nine rows, one row for each of the nine floors of the building & placed according to where they were killed. the victims' names are etched on the glass.
we came back at night to see everything lit up. .

experiencing the memorial & museum made the entire story of the bombing more meaningful & memorable for me as i was not old enough to realize the devastation when it happened. it was obvious that the architects put deep thought into creating something that symbolizes hope, peace & comfort for years to come. 
the next day we traveled back to good ole missouri, but before that i was able to get whataburger, pineapple whip, & promise land milk. that's a happy way to end a road trip!