Memorializing

Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial
Image by amanderson2 via Flickr

I’ve been blogging in one iteration or other since early April of 2001, so this would be at least my 9th blog on April 19th.

For those who don’t know, I’m an Oklahoma girl.  I was born and raised in Oklahoma City, and it’s something I’ve quite proud of.  Oklahoma is my home.  I am an Oklahoman.  No matter where I go or what I do, this will always be so.

TODAY marks the 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing.  I was 22 years old (about to turn 23) when it happened, and this event shaped my adulthood.  I think a lot of us lost our innocence that day, but especially Oklahomans – good, hard-working people who would give you the shirt off their backs if you so much as thought about asking them.

168 innocent people lost their lives that day.  A junior high classmate of mine lost both of her sons in the blast.  I have since met others who lost loved ones.

In 2003 when I moved back to Oklahoma (I have since moved away again) I volunteered at the Oklahoma City National Memorial museum and it was an amazing experience.  I was able to attend the 10th anniversary ceremonies, and I very much wish I could be there today.

Instead, I’ll be attending a celebration for a professional accomplishment.  There will be a little heaviness in my heart today because of what happened 15 years ago.

Please, if you can, make it a point to go to Oklahoma once in your life.  It’s beautiful country – God’s country – filled with incredible sights and sounds, and some of the best people on earth.  Take some time to go to the Oklahoma City National Memorial, as well.  It is an amazing experience that will touch your heart.  There is sadness there, but also hope and beauty that will make your heart swell with pride.

To my fellow Oklahomans, I carry you all in my heart today, and the memory of those we lost.

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