the wandering chick
...the Oklahoma City bombing
April 19, 1995
On April 19, 1995, the Alfred P. Murrah federal government building in Oklahoma City was destroyed by a terrorist bombing. One hundred sixty-eight people lost their lives, 19 of whom were children under the age of 6. There were 680 people injured, and 324 buildings within a 16-block radius were damaged.
The memorial outside which encompasses the area that was once Fifth Street and the Murrah building itself is extremely well-done, created by the Butzer Design Partnership. Its quality is surpassed only by the exhibits and museum inside the Journal Record Building as it recaptures the minute the bomb exploded through the day the last body was recovered.
The Gates of Time are twin monuments that mark the moment of destruction. The East Gate marks the time 9:01 when the building was filled with unsuspecting people, and the day was as ordinary as the one before. The time of innocence.
The West Gate marks the time 9:03 when the lives of the people and the heart of the nation were swiftly changed. The two gates act as the formal entrances to the outside memorial.
The Reflecting Pool stretches soothingly from one gate to the other and replaces what was once Fifth Street, the street that faced the front of the Murrah building and the one where the explosive-laden truck was parked.
The Journal Record Building stood across Fifth Street from the Murrah building. The side facing the street was heavily damaged in the attack. Other than a few various safety measures, it was left in the state of destruction as a reminder of the attack. The interior now holds the museum and exhibits of the attack.
This is the Field of Empty Chairs. Its perimeter is the exact footprint of the Murrah building. There are 168 chairs, and they are placed in 9 rows, symbolizing the 9 floors of the building. The chairs are placed according to the floor on which each victim was located at the time of the bombing. Each chair rests on a glass base which holds the name of a victim. The smaller chairs represent the children.
The Survivor Tree is a 90-year-old American Elm that stood as a witness to the attack.
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