Oklahoma City Memorial Visit

So I’m in Oklahoma City this weekend.

Long story, but you might say I’m on ‘assignment’ for a commercial photo shoot. A company out west was needing some shots of a couple of commercial properties they own up here and I was fortunate to get the nod to come shoot it. In fact it came about so fast that Kathy was unable to join me so I made a solo trip, leaving Friday afternoon and will return home tomorrow around lunchtime.

Because the pictures need to be taken in early morning and late evening for lighting purposes, you might say I have a bit of free time to kill in-between shoots. Life can be tough at times, ya know? 😉

Seriously though, having never been to Oklahoma City before, I knew I would probably stop by the Memorial located downtown that was established after the bombing of the Federal Building back in 1995. In fact, on the 19th of this month, it will be the 13th anniversary of this senseless tragedy that shocked our nation. 

I remember where I was that day. The end of the school year was closing in fast where I was finishing up my first year of student teaching in Commerce, TX. There was a TV in the teacher’s workroom where we ate lunch and I watched the drama unfold along with the rest of the country.

Finding the site here, or parking, was no problem, since I arrived early this Saturday morning around 8 AM.

I can’t say I really knew what to expect either when I showed up with camera in hand to snap a few photos.

Let me just say that for the next two hours, I was deeply moved by my visit. I didn’t even realize there was a museum on the site, which I paid my ten dollars to tour.

WHAT…a visit it was. Words here cannot even describe the range of emotions you feel as you truly re-live that day.

I’d have to say one of the more eerie moments was sitting in this one enclosed room, alone (no one else was touring yet) Sitting on a small table was a tape recorder and microphone, which were merely props. You then begin to hear a tape that is played through the overhead sound system of some routine procedural meeting that was taking place in a water board hearing across the street. Apparently, these hearings were always recorded for documentation sake, and it was just some routine discussion on local water rights when you hear the explosion from across the street take place.

Knowing…while you are listening, what is about to happen was just simply, unnerving.

As I toured the various rooms filled with photos, artifacts, pieces of the damaged truck used in the bombing, hearing the testimonies, watching news video replayed….I continued to fight back tears as I was reminded again how fragile life can be…and how when evil goes unchecked, it can bring much destruction, pain and heartache.

The State Trooper who was on duty outside (they stand duty 24 hours a day on the site) told me that at night, the memorial is lit up and is something to see. I will probably go back tonight to try some night shots with my camera.

I’m posting just a few shots here in this blog entry, and perhaps will post more in a gallery when I get home.

Let me just encourage anyone who ever is in the vicinity of this locale…Please don’t hesitate to come by and see this very beautiful and moving memorial site.

(A brief description of just some of these photos include a tree across the street that survived the blast, a chain link fence where visitors have hung mementos over the years, and a statue of weeping Jesus)