Across from the Memorial is something that actually isn't an official part of the Memorial itself. It's a statue built by a church across the street from what was the federal building. Most of this church was destroyed by the bomb. When they rebuilt, they placed this statue at the corner. It's of Jesus, head bowed in sorrow, with the words "And Jesus Wept" engraved into the base. It's probably one of, if not THE, most touching piece of statuary I've ever seen. Randey and I both choked up and shed a tear or two. The only other piece of rock that's brought this much emotion to the forefront of my mind is our grandson's headstone. I felt the same sadness, pain and melancholy looking at this statue as I feel whenever I see Conner's grave site and yet also the same sense of peacefulness and comfort that God doesn't leave us to feel hurt alone.
Along one side of the Memorial is this chain link fence where people still leave mementos and messages for those who were lost in the attack. I saw the pictures of two little boys, brothers apparently, who died that day. I saw the pictures of two beautiful young ladies in their teens...the pictures were left for their mother, who died when they were but 3 years old and 22 months old. I saw the picture of a woman with her sister, a sister who went to work on April 19, 1995, and never came home. The stuffed animals left for those innocent children, the flowers, the wreaths, the odd bits of things like a set of car keys, a pair of shoes, t-shirts, license plates...all of it was incredibly gripping and poignantly sad to see.
I will never understand the minds that decide killing is the way to make a point. So many people lost, so many families shattered, so many tears shed...and even after reading all about the warped person who "masterminded" this tragedy (whose name I will not mention - he doesn't merit that), I still can't even begin to see the reasoning behind this.
We didn't make it into the Museum - they don't allow pets, obviously. We plan to do that next time. We'll be taking the boys with us then, too. For better or worse, the Oklahoma City bombing is a part of our national history now and I think the boys should learn about it. I was sort of shocked to learn that they don't know that much about it. I forgot how young they were when it happened so while it's been a huge part of my conscience, it hasn't been a part of theirs. I want them to know about this, though. Sure, it's a horrible statement about the cruelty and evil human beings can be capable of, but it's also a glowing testimony of the resilience and goodness of human beings, as well. If you're ever in OKC, I urge you to visit this Memorial. There's so much more to it than I've spoken of in this post. I felt like I was in the presence of something spiritual and healing and good - so much beauty and love from something so horrific and evil. Despite the sadness, the loss, the nightmare of that day, good has triumphed there. And it's laid out for everyone to see. If you want proof of a higher being, of a greater plan, or a meaning of life...go experience this Memorial. You'll see how indomitable the human spirit is and you'll see how good us humans can be. This last picture is of Randey and the Johnny Bench statue at the Bricktown Ballpark. Yeah, we didn't get to see the game (notice who Randey is holding!), but I still got to say hello to JB (his likeness anyway!). Oh and see that bag on the ground to the left of Randey? That's Syd's new travel "purse". I was so bummed out that we didn't get to go to the ballgame or shopping or on the canal boat ride because we had the dog with us, but he didn't seem bothered by any of it as long as he was being carried. I think it's safe to say that Sydney liked riding around in his bag. Take about the "Life of Reilly"! That dog's got it made. And as soon as his doggy door is installed, so will WE!