Monday, April 19, 2010

Anniversary - the Past and Present

 For a few years my city's only claim to fame was the Murrah bombing. Sad, right? Of course the bombing is sad - it was awful and scary - but I am relieved that OKC finally has a reputation for things other than a terrorist attack and a huge tornado. That being said, I could never deny that it has become part of our identity. And for all the things I learned during that time period, I suppose it is part of mine as well.

It's important to remember for every one stranger willing to set off an explosion, 
there are thousands of strangers willing to help.  
That is the most important lesson I learned through this tragic event.

So for those who don't know (I lived here, so I don't know how common this knowledge is to everyone who didn't), the chainlink security fence put up after the bombing became a shrine of sorts. Families, locals and rescuers covered it with gifts and trinkets, flowers, rosaries, whatever meant something to them, covered the entire thing, all the way around. We couldn't bear to tear it down. It was a small source of comfort, a tangible grave marker and place to leave your prayers. A part of the fence was kept as part of the memorial, and people still leave things on it today, from all over the world. The families still hang photos on it. It has to be cleared periodically. Some items are left up, and some items are cycled in and out. The above photo was taken last week.

This is the new federal building, just a block or so away. It was built to be "bomb-proof", or so we are told; one of the safest buildings in the country. I would like to think that lightning would never strike the same place twice, but I guess it has happened. I thought it might turn into a model for other federal buildings around the country, but to my knowledge this hasn't happened. You can't park near it. It's glass and concrete are blast-resistant. It's designed to absorb and disperse force. It's eco-friendly. It's peaceful and industrial and pretty. It looks like it's been there this whole time, even though I literally watched as it was built. It has a little stream leading to the back door, and star-shaped benches.

1 comment:

  1. Great post for today. I like the new building and the grounds around it.