My wife and I have visited the Oklahoma City memorial to the April 19, 1995 bombing many times since its completion.
We come away each time with the same reaction: Anyone wishing to memorialize a tragic event needs to visit with the planners who executed this memorial to see how to do it correctly, in exquisite taste and decorum.
It’s on the edge of downtown OKC, where the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building stood before Timothy McVeigh detonated the truck bomb that destroyed the structure and killed 168 innocent victims.
It has two outstanding features: a pool of still water and 168 chairs positioned to the side of the pool. Of the chairs, 19 of them are smaller than the rest. They honor the lives of the children McVeigh killed when the bomb went off. The children were attending a day care center inside the Murrah Building. McVeigh drew a figurative bead on those innocent, precious babies when he committed his heinous act.
One wall from the Murrah Building is preserved at the end of the pool. On another wall is an inscription, “9:03,” when the bomb exploded on that horrifying morning.
The good people of Oklahoma City did it right.
If you’re ever traveling through Oklahoma’s capital city, you owe it to yourself — and your children — to see this memorial.
It will move you in a way you might not expect.