I am at a conference this weekend in Oklahoma City and after sitting through a couple of good sessions this morning, I decided to take in some fresh air by walking up and touring the Oklahoma City Memorial. You know…Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols…the bombing, the homegrown terrorists. I felt compelled to visit and pay my respects.
I didn’t know it was going to be so hard.
As I approached on the west of the memorial my eyes rested on a chain link fence with tokens attached for the victims of that day. I couldn’t stop tears from welling up in my eyes. I couldn’t stop a small shaking that had overtaken my body. I looked at each small momento and avoided looking at anyone else on the street. All the sudden the last 22 years melted away and this was real again.
Slowly making past the fence, I turned right to enter the museum. Let me just say, this needs to be experienced. The museum is set up to take one through the day, from the moment the bomb goes off, to the time of the last survivor found. It is powerful and at one point shook me to my core.
I share my pictures, but there is no way for me to share my feelings, the rawness, the sheer impact this memorial had upon me. I wish I could hike away from what I am feeling right now, but as always, we must hike on.