For years, I have wanted to visit the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum. My youngest son had been there and was immensely touched by this. Therefore, I determined this assignment would be the perfect opportunity for me to visit and in turn write about it.
Immediately, in all honesty, I understood that this memorial and museum were a dedication of peace and hope that will change you forever.
The museum is a place of amazing transformation that offers a unique insight of the events that took place on April 19, 1995. As you enter it states, “Just like communities everywhere, it is the start of a day like any other day”, but as you proceed, the story of that day is revealed gallery by gallery showing you that it was not an ordinary day.
As you approach the end of the third floor, which is where the tour begins, you are greeted by Gus, a man full of knowledge of the events that took place that day. He explains that we are about to hear an actual audio recording of a water board hearing that was held across the street from the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on the morning of the bombing. We are ushered into a room where the audio is playing, approximately two minutes into the hearing; you hear a loud explosion followed by panicked shouting as the faces of the 168 victims killed that day are displayed on the screen. So it is said that this is the only recording of what it sounded like when Timothy McVeigh’s rented Ryder truck bomb exploded, leaving the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building annihilated. The audio delivers an emotional blow that makes you think twice about entering through the doors opening into the next gallery where screens replay the first video images of the chaos taking ...
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...ing off its branches and imbedding shrapnel in its bark. An army of volunteers came together to preserve the memorial’s best known icon. It now thrives and is a powerful character that symbolizes that the spirit of the city and this nation will not be defeated; their deeply rooted faith sustains them.
The Oklahoma City National Museum and Memorial has turned a target of terrorism into a phenomenal shrine for those who were killed in conjunction with those who responded and risked their lives to save those in need.
I walked away from the memorial with a renewed conviction to remember those who were killed, those who survived and those changed forever, which now included myself. Feeling the impact of violence, this memorial offered me comfort, strength, peace, hope and serenity. I can identify with the actuality that we should not take life for granted.
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