My previous post was getting a bit long, so I decided to split it up. Here’s more of Oklahoma City:
- Oklahoma City National Memorial
Of course I couldn’t go to Oklahoma City without visiting the memorial of the 1995 bombing of the federal building. The memorial was only a few blocks away from our hotel, so it was an easy walk in between shifts. I’m old enough to remember the bombing somewhat, but being there in that space, reading the exhibits made me very emotional. The most poignant part were the chairs – in part of the open are where the federal building once stood are mini-monuments in the form of chairs, which have lights at the base so you can see them at night. The chairs are arranged in order of where the victims of the attack were when they died, the different rows representing the different floor of the building. There are 5 chairs completely separate from the rest, representing the 5 people outside of the building who were killed. There are also smaller chairs to represent the children in the daycare on the second floor (supposedly the bombers, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, didn’t know there was a daycare in the building when they set the bomb). Not going to lie, I cried while I lingered, mourning the 168 people represented by those chairs.
The rest of the memorial was equally touching – the list of survivors, the doors at each end of the reflection pool representing the moments before and after the bombing, and even the Survivor Tree, which is exactly what the name makes it sound like. Sadly I did not have the time to tour the museum itself – it was a stretch to make it to the memorial and back in between my shifts at the booth – but I would relish the opportunity to do so if I go back sometime in the future.
- Random Statues
So, an upfront disclaimer: I have no idea what is with all of the random statues/art pieces around Oklahoma City. I tried to do some research on them, but came up with diddly-squat. However, they were still very pretty and interesting, so enjoy these random photos for which I have no explanation. **If you are from Oklahoma City and can shed some light on these, please do! I’d love to know.**
- Rex Ryan Connection
Ending on a happy/weird note: this trip is the reason why my friends now claim that Rex Ryan, the head coach of the Buffalo Bills NFL team, is stalking me. A bit of context – last year Rex Ryan randomly showed up at a Nashville Sounds baseball game I was attending to throw out the first pitch. He then stayed for the rest of the game. No one has any idea why he was there – it wasn’t football season, he’s not from Nashville or Tennessee, etc. Regardless, we accepted it and moved on with our lives. However randomly on this trip, I was sitting in the airport waiting for my flight, when lo and behold, Rex Ryan comes and sits down a few seats away from me! He turned out to be taking a different flight and was very nice, shaking hands and talking with anyone who recognized him. I didn’t go up to him because I am a self-respecting New England Patriots fan, but I still snapped a few pictures of him. Now my friends tease me that Rex Ryan is stalking me, but only once a year. Can’t wait to see where he pops up next year!