Wednesday, June 27, 2007

We're "OK"

We've arrived safely in Oklahoma City, OK! We left Amarillo, TX this morning and expected to arrive in OKC in the midst of a downpour (some sections of the outlying areas around OKC have been flooded). But apart from a few storm cells here and there along I-40, it was a beautiful day!

We checked in to our (intended) hotel just south of downtown, but Don decided to check us out faster than you can say "bad neighborhood." Yikes. Unfortunately, booking hotels in advance on the Internet doesn't allow you to experience them firsthand until you arrive. And we only allowed ourselves to "experience" this one for about 10 minutes. Thankfully, we found a much nicer place uptown and will be here for two nights.

Earlier today, we took two hours and visited the Oklahoma City National Memorial, site of the former Murrah Federal Building that convicted (and since-executed) mass murderer, Timothy McVeigh, blew up with a truck bomb in April 1995. 168 lives were lost, including 19 children, as you may recall. Visiting the memorial and the accompanying museum was a very moving and heart-felt experience. They have done a wonderful job celebrating the lives of those who perished and of telling the riveting stories of the survivors and rescuers. You can't help but be moved by the experience.

A few of the empty bronze-and-glass chairs, each one
representing an individual who perished in the OKC bombing.

Hannah at the Oklahoma City National Memorial reflecting pond.
The 168 empty chairs are in the background on the grass,
on the footprint where the Murrah Federal Building stood.

Outside, there are 168 bronze-and-glass empty chairs, laid out in nine rows, representing each of the 168 victims who died, with each row representing the floor of the building they were on (see above photo). The chairs are fronted by a shallow reflecting pool (see above photo) and several other symbolic trees and gardens. They've done a wonderful job with the site. We highly recommend visiting the memorial and paying the extra few dollars to tour the museum inside, if you're ever in the area. May God bless and give peace to all the individuals and families affected by the tragedy.

We'll write more as we continue on the journey! Thanks for your continued love, prayers, and support as we begin this seminary adventure.

God's love and blessings,
D, S, H, & E

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