It has been 15 years since the bombing of Oklahoma City federal building. A couple of months ago I went to Oklahoma for a case I was working on. I was rushed to make a long drive from Oklahoma City to my destination and I almost skipped the visit to the site of the bombing. I am very thankful I made the time to stop by.
It was cold, windy and lonely with few other people present.
Like so many things in life, it is much different in person than how I imagined it.
I found the chain link fence. I learned that the fence was a place where people started leaving items after the bombing and was never meant to be part of the official exhibit - but it was later decided that it was a true reflection of what people felt in those days and weeks that followed.
I was able to make the last tour through the interactive museum before closing. Audio recordings of the bombing and police radio traffic, TV news clips and personal affects from the offices made for a very personal experience.
It reminded me how precious life really is, and how quickly it can end. It also reminded me of the spirit so many of us have within us - that at a time of crisis, we do what is needed to help. Self preservation and comfort took a back seat to helping search for and save others.
The spray painted wall, another "left over" from the days that followed really seems to sum up my feelings after viewing the bombing site.