June 2, 2017
The next stop on my first full day in OKC was the site of the former Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, located in the heart of downtown.
This was the location of a domestic terrorist attack on April 19, 1995 when two men blew the front off the 9-story federal office building using a powerful bomb.
Although the bombing occurred more than 22 years before I was there, there are still numerous items placed at the site by family members and others who will never forget what happened that day.
The memorial itself is located in the footprint of where that building once stood.
A chair, each representing one of the 168 people killed in the initial explosion (or the resulting collapse of the front portion of the building). The chairs are aligned in 9 rows, representing the floor on which each person was thought to be at the time of the explosion, 9:02 am local time.
At one end of the reflecting pond is a black structure containing only the time – 9:01, the minute before the explosion.
At the other end, a similar structure with 9:03, the minute after.
I am normally not a very emotional person and I was doing fairly well until I saw this:
One of the shorter chairs, one for each of the 19 children who died in the attack, each with a teddy bear strapped to it. Most of the children were at a day care center located in the building.
A powerful message (and I’m tearing up again as I post this).
The clear “box” under each chair is lit up at night.