Oklahoma City, OK - Day 2 - 03/28/2012

Published at 8:40 PM in ,

Part of the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial

The Oklahoma Land Run Monument

Today we started out at the Oklahoma Land Run Monument in Oklahoma City's historic Bricktown area.  This huge, one-and-a-half time life size monument commemorates the legendary 1889 land run for more than 2,000,000 acres of land in the heart of Oklahoma.  The statues cross a man-made river and do a terrific job of illustrating the hope those in the land run possessed. 

Chairs for the victims; one remaining wall of the building

After the monument, we went downtown where the Oklahoma City bombing took place.  The Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum is located on the site of the Murrah Federal Building where, on April 19, 1995, Timothy McVeigh detonated a Ryder truck filled with explosives, killing 186 people, including 19 children from a daycare located in the building.

Across the reflecting pool

The monument is a sobering place, a fitting tribute to those who died or were injured.  The east gate to the memorial reads 9:01, the minute before the explosion and the time when the city still lived in innocence.  The western gate reads 9:03, the time when destruction was known.  On the actual site of the building, there are empty chairs to represent those that lost their lives.  The museum was closed when we went by, so I can't tell you about that.  However, the memorial and museum website has excellent information, especially on the symbolism of the memorial. 

The Oklahoma State Capitol

Next on the agenda was a visit to the Oklahoma state capitol.  We parked in a side parking lot and a tunnel took us across to the capitol.  The tunnel was filled with a beautiful mural depicting different parts of life in Oklahoma, from farming to Native Americans.

We started our self-guided tour of the beautiful building.  We found our way to the House of Representatives and had just missed being able to watch them in session.  They had just dismissed for the day.  As we came out, we noticed a painting of the USS Oklahoma, which was bombed in Pearl Harbor alongside the USS Arizona.  An interesting piece of history on the USS Oklahoma is that it was actually raised from the bottom of the harbor.  The plan was to tow it to the mainland and use it for scrap metal.  This was upsetting to a lot of people, and appropriately, in my opinion, half way to the mainland the cable that was towing it broke.  The USS Oklahoma now sits at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.

The kids with Representative Paul Roan

While we were looking at the painting, one of the Representatives, Paul Roan, came along and told us of the history of the ship and much more about Oklahoma. ...... was so nice and took a long time with us, teaching us all about Oklahoma and its laws and people.  He even called the capitol photographer up to take our picture!  (We received the photo after we got home.) What a special treat!

The governor is in black with her back to us

Next we went down to the gift shop to get our postcards.  While there, the governor was preparing for an official photo on the steps just outside the shop.  Jim slipped up to her bodyguard and asked if there was any way possible that we might meet the governor.  He had us follow the governor up to her office and we waited while he was checking to see if the governor was available.  Unfortunately, the governor had a meeting that she was already late for, but she did take a minute to autograph a photo for us.  Her bodyguard so nice to work so hard to make it happen for us.  He agreed that when Rachael becomes President, he will become her personal bodyguard.

Rachael's future body guard

Once we finished at the capitol, it was time to get on the road to TEXAS!  My Uncle Jim, Aunt DeeDee, and my cousin Jessica were all anxiously awaiting our arrival, although it may be a while before we get there tonight.  We can't wait to see them, though!!

More pictures in the Photo Gallery!

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