25 May 2009
Like Any Other Day
This morning we took a drive around Hefner Lake.
It was a beautiful day.
Storm clouds in the distance. Tornado season was just around the corner.
But for the most part it was day like any other springtime day in Oklahoma City.
Like it must have been 14 years ago, almost to the day.
At 9:01 on 19 April 1995 that perfect spring day was shattered.
It was only fitting that my trip to Oklahoma City should include a visit to the tragic bombing sight.
Physically the scars of the devastation are gone but emotionally they run deep at this place. Today stands a beautiful Memorial Park with little evidence of what once happened.
There is more to this place though then a beautiful park. There is also the museum.
It is here, inside the museum that you will relive the events of that fateful day.
A day that starts like any other day. Images inside the first exhibit show you television reports, news paper reports, radio reports of everyday mundane topics like traffic and weather.
...until you come to The Door.
In the corner of the 'Any Other Day' exhibit is a simple door. Next to the door is a clock. A clock stopped at 9:01 - the minute the bomb exploded.
You know in your soul what is behind this door.
Already I want to turn away.
I debated whether or not to describe my experience behind this door to you. I cannot. The events that unfold in the next room are events that you as an American NEED to experience for yourself. They are emotional and personal.
168 people died that day. 18 of whom were children in a day care.
This is their story.
Outside on the memorial grounds is a special tribute - rows of empty chairs symbolizing the lives lost.
Another day that will live in infamy in American History.
It only took three seconds to vanquish 168 lives, but who knows how many lives have been effected by this. The wives, husbands, children and family members who continue to live with this memory cannot be forgotten either.
For those who have served. Both on and off the field.
Let this be your last battlefield.