Oklahoma City

Field of ChairsOklahoma City, April 19, 1995.

In a matter of seconds, hundreds of families around Oklahoma were racked with tragedy and horror, all in the name of unspeakable vengeance by a madman. Timmothy McVeigh, seeking revenge on the Government and FBI for the Waco Seige and the 1992 Ruby Ridge incident, parked a Ryder rental truck in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. The cargo area held three- 55 gal drums of an explosive mixture of ammonium nitrate fertilizer, nitromethane, and diesel fuel.

McVeigh walked away and at 9:02 am the bomb detonated on the north side of the nine story building devastating the whole facade in a mass of collapsed metal, concrete and steel.

In the wake of the bombing 168 were confirmed dead including 19 children from the America’s Kid’s Day Care Center.

It was the deadliest act of terrorism within the United States prior to the September 11, 2001 attacks.

The first time I visited the OKC Memorial was on Sunday, September 16, 2001. I had been on the west coast during the Word Trade Center attack and drove back east because of the airplane grounding.

The fenced area on the west side of the memorial was adorned with hundreds of 9-11 messages in rememberance of the attack. It is one of the most touching places I have ever visited.

The photo above is an image of The Field of Empty Chairs.

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Field of Empty Chairs:

168 empty chairs hand-crafted from glass, bronze, and stone represent those who lost their lives, with a name etched in the glass base of each. They sit on the site where the Murrah Building once stood. The chairs represent the empty chairs at the dinner tables of the victims’ families. The chairs are arranged in nine rows to symbolize the nine floors of the building; each person’s chair is on the row (or the floor) on which the person worked or was located when the bomb went off. The chairs are also grouped according to the blast pattern, with the most chairs nearest the most heavily damaged portion of the building. The westernmost column of five chairs represents the five people who died but were not in the Murrah Building (two in the Water Resources Board building, one in the Athenian Building, one outside near the building, and one rescuer). The 19 smaller chairs represent the children killed in the bombing. Three unborn children died along with their mothers, and they are listed on their mothers’ chairs beneath their mothers’ names.

(From OKC Memorial Wiki)[/box]

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