I ended last week’s post with a photo of the Washington Monument, mirrored in the reflecting pool that lies between the monument and the Lincoln Memorial.
That reflecting pool brings to mind another city and another body of water, one that is a very integral part of a very different memorial.
The Oklahoma City Bombing took place twenty one years ago but the citizens of that city remember the day as if no years have gone by between then and now. If you lived there at that moment, at 9:03 on April 19, 1995, you were forever changed.
Oklahoma City was forever changed.
This excerpt, from the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum website, explains how good can result from unspeakable tragedy.
“The story of the bombing does not stop with the attack itself or with the many losses it caused. The responses of Oklahoma’s public servants and private citizens, and those from throughout the nation remain as a testament to the sense of unity, compassion, even heroism, that characterized the rescue and recovery following the bombing.
In the aftermath of the bombing, people of all colors, ages, religions and political philosophies reached out in love — from co-workers, bystanders and professionals who appeared almost instantly to help at the site to individuals thousands of miles away who sent letters of support or funds to provide for devastated families.”
My family had the privilege of living in Oklahoma City when we were stationed at Tinker Air Force Base. In our short 19 months there the city and the people won a place in our hearts and, on a much more personal level, we gained a lovely daughter-in-law from the assignment.
Several years after moving away, while visiting our son’s family at Christmas, we stopped by the memorial after mass on Christmas morning.
On that quiet, serene morning, the reflecting pool perfectly mirrored the different components of the carefully planned memorial.
“The pool occupies what was once N.W. Fifth Street. Here, a shallow depth of gently flowing water helps soothe wounds, with calming sounds providing a peaceful setting for quiet thoughts. The placid surface shows the reflection of someone changed forever by their visit to the Memorial.”
Should you ever find yourself in Oklahoma please take time to visit this place.
Be forever changed.