There are 168 chairs. The transparent base of each chair is lighted at night. I was there yesterday midday and noticed before I read it, that some are a smaller size because 19 of those killed were children.

There were a few ducks floating around on the moving sheet of water.


The twin portals at either end of the reflecting pond are marked 9:01 and 9:03. The first denotes the last moment of a community’s innocence and the second the first full moment in which so much had changed forever. A beautiful old tree survives on the site. Remnants of the bomber’s target building are there, and the back wall of the building across the way has been preserved with its scars showing.

The helpful park ranger answered questions and handed me a brochure. “You may walk among the chairs,” he said.

I walked among the chairs on a perfect day. The stubborn wind was a mild spring kiss. I stood before a chair bearing the name of a woman and her baby.

I cried some on that walk, and then I went into the museum on the site. It’s excellent – and emotionally intense.

After experiencing the museum I needed a long drive down sunny highways, so I took it.



3 thoughts on “Chairs

  1. If Oklahoma can do such a beautiful, sad tribute, why hasn’t New York have already done something for the WTC?


  2. It affected me enough to insert it into my (mediocre) mystery.

    Not to bore, but part of that insertion reads: “A single tree–a beautiful, wonderfully symmentrical American Elm which had survived the horrendous blast–sat stoically at a corner of the memorial, living, thriving among the quietude and, I could not help thinking that a fragile peace now occupied that space where such horrific violence had occurred.

    “I stepped back a bit from the reflecting pool and sat down on top of the cement bench wall. From that new perspective, the Reflecting Pool took on a slight shimmer as it mirroed the late-afternoon sunlight. The symbolic chairs across the pool seemed to float on the shimmering surface.”

    The memorial is so quietly unassuming, that its impact is immensely profound. And, yes, New York–in this case–would be well-served to emulate Oklahoma City.


  3. P.S. You should have let me know you were headed down to the OK state. I could have hooked you up with my interesting bevy of cousins, those of the “Y’all,” persuasion, y’know. : – ]


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