Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tears and Cheers

Sunday we went to the Oklahoma City National Memorial for Victums of the Murrah Federal Building Bombing.  If you are ever in OKC this is a MUST SEE. 

You start outside overlooking the field of empty chairs and the reflection pond.

Then we moved around to the side street and large monolith gates

If you click on the picture you can increase the size and see the saying.  On the inside the inscription on the inside of the East monolith is 9:01 to denote the ordinariness of the morning.  The inside inscription on the West monolith is 9:03 to denote the time when "our world changed forever".

As you walk through the monolith into the area of the field of chairs and reflection pool, you are struck by how peaceful it is. 

There ARE other visitors there, but no one is talking loud and children are not running around screaming.  Seems you can't but help being respectful.  As you walk along the rows of chairs and notice the small ones for the children, you feel even more sober.

This was written on the wall facing the bombed building by a rescue worker.

We walked through over to the Museum just past the Children's Area

The cost to enter is $10 and WELL worth the price.
We took NO pictures while we were inside.  You can, but the whole exhibit is just so involving of your emotions that we just didn't.  Out of respect or because the whole thing is more feeling than seeing. I just don't know. No pictures we could have taken inside would have done it justice.  And I certainly can't do it justice by description.
The stock description is that the exhibit winds through old office space in the building that was across the street from Murrah Federal Building and was also damaged in the blast.  It starts with the history of downtown and the federal building and the rather ordinary day it started out to be.  From there you go in timed order through all the rooms.  Starting with about 3 minutes before the bomb and ending with a memorial room with pictures of all the victims.

Each room and passageway is full of pictures and artifacts that were dug from the rubble or donated by survivors and family members.  They have TV screens throughout with survivors, rescuers and family members telling stories of that day.

By the time you get to the memorial room you are already choked up.  The room is a half circle and each victims picture is mounted on the wall inside a 12 X 12 plexiglass box with mementos found in the rubble or donated by family members.  Each box has their name and where they were in the building. 

One third of the way around the room I was too overcome with emotion to continue through it.  The children's boxes were the worst.  I left the room and waited for Dave.  He too had to leave without seeing all the mementos and victims. 

To tour a museum dedicated to a horrible event that happened so recently and so closely to where we lived is way beyond going to any other memorial of any type I have ever been to.

I will just have to go back to the beginning.....If you are ever in OKC this is a MUST SEE. 

As we left the museum and drove around the city, it struck me that no matter where we went downtown, it was a VERY clean city.  I then noticed signs that designated groups that had adopted each block.  Like highway adoptions for picking up trash.  Great idea!

We went on back to the House and just hung out until dinner time.  We found a restaurant where we could go to celebrate Dave's birthday....Logan's Roadhouse.  It was ok, but since it was nothing to write home about.........  "Cheers" to Dave's birthday!!


  1. Thanks for your report after visiting the Murrah Building memorial...very somber and respectful. Guess one could almost feel the presence of the spirit of the victims when walking around the area. Quite moving. Thanks.

  2. Doris and Dave,

    Thank you for your respect of the Memorial. I am sorry that it had to hit your emotions so bad. At the time of the bombing, Jo was struck by the fact that she had been crossing that street just one week earlier at about 9:00AM. I had volunteered to help some local ham radio operators "ferry" supplies from the Red Cross headquarters to the Murrah site. I was struck by an image that still flickers across my mind. Amid all the destruction of more than half the building at my feet, I looked up and saw a suit coat hanging on a rack on about the 7th floor. I never found out whether the suit coat belonged to a survivor or a victim.

    If you get a chance, go to the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum up on NE 63rd. Oklahoma City also has a Firefighter's museum, a 45th Infantry museum (45th is an Oklahoma unit) and more to see. Enjoy your stay here in our city.

  3. Thanks Terry! We are already in Missouri at Lake of the Ozarks. I'm sorry we weren't able to get together....except for Sunday, we were soooo busy, we actually got to see our old friend for only 20 minutes. But, I am soooo sure we will see you on the road...we will have to make sure we do!


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