Saturday, September 26, 2009

In The Heartland

I'm in Oklahoma City right now with Hubby.  He is in a wedding and I'm just along for the free food.  ;)  No really, it was a great chance for us to spend some much needed alone time together and to see some friends from long ago.   Plus, I like to see him in a tux.   

One of the things I knew I must do while I was here was visit the memorial from the OKC bombing of the federal building.

I remember exactly where I was that day in April 1995.  I was working in real estate and was in my car driving to an appointment that morning.  The news came on almost immediately over my car radio and I just remember listening and trying to take in what was really happening.  As the news unfolded that day, I, like the rest of the country watched in shock and horror.   I also remember thinking that this was an attack on us from foreign soil.  I never imagined it would be an American citizen gone terrorist.

It's beautiful, heartbreaking and ultimately a symbol of the hope and faith that this country has.  I am so impressed with that the memorial is there not only to honor the innocent victims but to also celebrate healing for those who survived and were left behind to mourn.  I was truly moved by the community that came together of all faiths and from all over to help with the recovery effort.   Love Thy Neighbor was truly at work in the aftermath of such a tragic event.

I was most moved by this tree.   See my update below.

The elm tree that is over 100 years old and was the only tree on the property to survive the blast.   You can still see some charred bark.  It is the symbol of survival for this town.  A symbol of beauty and growth coming from the ashes that surrounded it.

My time there was spent alone today.  I don't think I would have wanted it any other way.  It was a perfect time for me to reflect and pray.  I wonder just how I could honor this place.  I don't think I could do anything but to love my neighbor and be proud of this country I call home.  A country that is one of survival, freedom and ulitmately hope. 

Addition to this post:  It's been a few hours since I posted this.  Originally, I said that the tree was something I was most moved by and it was a very moving moment in the sense of the hope that it gave me.  I imagine that is why it is the symbol of this memorial. 

However, I was moved to an overwhelming grief by a couple things and honestly, just could not process them into a post.  The faces of those that lost their lives and the video of people looking for loved ones right after the blast was almost more than I could take.  But the most emotionally charged moment was, of course, seeing the loss of the babies.  The little chairs and the ones where two like names, siblings, sat side by side.  That was hard to take.  I wondered about the parents.  I prayed for the parents. 

And that is when I looked to the tree, the reflection pool and ultimately the heavens to where my God must be holding them now.  There is no sense.  No understanding.  Again, only hope.  Hope in a God that makes all things good somehow.    What else can we do? 
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Stefunkc said...

Well hello and welcome to OKC! I'm waving in your general direction from very close by. Okay, that sounded like I'm stalking you...I'm not! I loved hearing your thoughts and seeing your pictures:)

Kellie said...

I've been to this memorial as well...and it is quite breath taking...especially the little chairs...I was there with my kids and my heart just ached thinking about the children that were taken...

I am glad that you are getting the opportunity for some time alone with your hubby...that's always a treat!

GladMom24 said...

beautiful post. when nothing make sense what we have left is hope or despair. I choose hope. As I flipped thru Job today I came across notes from Pastor Davey, he said satan delights in silencing 1 believer and he is defeated when even 1 believer praises God thru tears. He often quoted Martin Luther "so let us spite the devil and praise God"

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