Sunday, May 27, 2012

Route 66 Road Trip – Day 8b Albuquerque, NM to Oklahoma City, OK

Well, we had to leave Groom and the Cross…we still had Oklahoma City ahead of us, with another touching memorial park.  On our way, we stopped at a rest stop in Alanreed, Texas.  It was done in Art Deco style and as a tribute to Route 66, had neon signs and exhibits, including sidewalks made like mini highways leading along the Route 66 History Walk.  This rest area is also a Tornado Shelter, like the one on the west bound side of the road that we stopped at on our way to ABQ.




Our destination for the night was Quail City, OK, just on the north side of Oklahoma City, but it was my goal to stop at the National Memorial in OKC before dark.  We were not able to stop on our way west due to a St. Patrick’s Day Parade blocking the Memorial.  Dusk was settling in as we approached the city.

The Oklahoma City National Memorial commemorates the lives of 168 victims who died in the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.  The city has built a beautiful memorial, well worth stopping to see if you pass through OKC.  I had been there several years ago and toured the complex and park, and I wanted my family to see the memorial and have an understanding of what happened there.

A disturbed young man parked a van on the street in front of the federal building one summer morning in 1995, and after he walked away the van/bomb exploded.  Before it was over, 168 lives were ended, many of them children…as there was a day care located in the building.  It was the worst ever act of terrorism in our country prior to 911.  One of the statues built is one of Christ weeping over this tragedy.

As we walked around the Memorial, we talked about what had happened there.  The park is open 24/7, with guards on the grounds.  It was hard to capture in pictures at that time of the night.  The picture below is one of the chairs sitting on the bank next to the reflection pond.  When the city asked what should be built as a memorial, a little boy suggested they put chairs out to represent each one that died.  That way when he missed his mommy, one of those killed in the bombing, he could go and sit on a chair and pretend it was her lap.

We ended this visit with a prayer for all the families who were touched by this tragedy.

This ended Day 8 of our Route 66 Road trip.  We had supper at Taco Bell and headed to our motel for the night in Quail Springs, OK.  The next day we would be meeting up with the other set of Grandparents to our granddaughters.  It was going to be a full day in itself, so we needed a good night’s sleep.  See you next time for Day 9 of a road trip quickly winding down.

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