One of the first places my husband took me to visit after arriving here was the Oklahoma City Memorial. He believed that if we were to live here, understanding what happened here was important. I think that was good advice.
Standing between the gates, the weight and the meaning of this place hangs in the atmosphere as much as in the architectural narrative. There are two gates at each end of a reflecting pond; one carved with 9:01 and the other with 9:03. Between those times on April 19th, 1995, a city lost its innocence. Row upon row of chairs lit from below sit facing the pond to commemorate those who lost their lives. Smaller ones for children.
I will never forget my first impression. I felt heavy. The contrast of a place designed to be so peaceful on the site of such violence. I could feel a grief for people I did not know and recognized the sacredness of the ground I walked on.
For that reason, I felt a little awkward taking photos with the journal on this site. It bothered me for days afterward. The journal is what links the project together and the journal must appear in the photographs of each location. This project is a reflection of each of the United States and its people as told by one person from each state. I am not American by birth, but the story of this place was one I knew before I ever set foot in Oklahoma.This site is included because I don’t believe any picture of this state, or even my experience of it, would be complete without it.
More on the Journal and it’s journey…