Last weekend we had the opportunity to visit the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum. Every year they hold a Memorial Marathon in remembrance of those who lost their lives on April 19, 1995. My husband ran the half marathon. While there for the weekend, we thought it would be a neat experience for our children to go to the memorial and museum with us. I was not prepared for what we would see.
I remember seeing the news of what happened that day. I also remember after many days being tired of hearing about the tragedy. Now I know why it was on the news for so long.
The museum is set up in such a way that as you walk through it, you experience that dreadful day. There is a special room at the beginning you are ushered into. In this room you hear a recording of a meeting. Next thing you know, you hear the bomb explode. It is mind blowing to listen to and then walk through as you see debris and actual parts of one of the buildings that was impacted. There was one nurse, who was not in the building when it happened, but went to the aid of the victims and saved their lives. Unfortunately, her life was taken in the process of helping them.
I think I read that it was almost a month before all the bodies were accounted for. One room was devoted to those who were killed. There was a picture of each person with their name and a memento. As I looked around the room I couldn't help but notice a young women wiping tears from her cheek.
I can not comprehend how someone would want to kill so many innocent people. I am glad we went. However, I would not recommend you bringing small children along. Our 5 year old was with us and she was frightened a great deal. As we were walking to the car she remarked, "don't EVER take me to that museum again!"
I am grateful for this special place to remember those who died (168, some children), survived or were affected in any way by this horrible tragedy. I am definitely not the same having been there myself.
Hope and Healing,