April 19th Remembered

The fence memorial, with what I believe
is First UMC downtown in the background
Do you remember when you heard JFK was assassinated? 
Do you remember where you were when Roosevelt died?
Do you remember when Reagan was shot?

People whose generations are older than my own have vivid memories of the above dates and times when important people died or were shot.  It seems strange that for my generation what is fused in our memory isn't when particular people died but when mass numbers of people died (outside of war zones, obviously). My most vivid memories are of Waco, Columbine, 9/11.  I can tell you in vivid detail each of those moments when scores of people died and what I was doing.

Oh, and this one for today:

15 years ago today I was in an Oklahoma high school walking outside between first-hour English Comp and second-hour Computer Keyboarding. Our high school is 6 miles away as the crow flies from the Murrah Building. I heard a boom and thought it was a car backfiring in the parking lot, a passing thought that was removed 30 minutes later when teachers started turning on TVs and students with parents downtown were being wisked to the office and we found out what had happened.  One of my good friend's dads was an emergency responder and my friend went to the bombing site the next day, telling us all about it as we were huddled in the back of the yellow schoolbus. Such visceral memories.  A few days later I also remember walking the iconic chain-link fence and blocks of people posting signs, notes, teddy bears, crosses, american flags, anything as a monument to their loss. Still gives me chills.

Incidentally, I wasn't until years later that I found out that my parents and one sibling were in the Murrah Building a month previously...could have been them very easily!

My prayer for today? May goodness and mercy be of a more permanent effect than explosive hatred.


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