Today marks the 20th anniversary of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. I remember the lives lost, those who survived and those who are forever changed.
I was an eighth grader and in first period math class when the superintendent of our little school came in with the news. I think a TV was wheeled in and we were able to watch some coverage. My town is about two hours away from Oklahoma City.
A few weeks later our government (civics?) class took a field trip to the site, and we saw the building before it was completely demolished. I was caught up in my middle-school boyfriend/girlfriend drama (I vaguely remember that the boy I liked played a breakup song to signal we were through on this trip, but I could be mixing memories). But I do remember the awe of the devastation and all the stuffed animals and notes tucked along the chain link fence. Somewhere I have some prints of photos I took that day.
The memorial was completed before I left the state, but for some reason I have never been through it. I'm rarely in Oklahoma City proper, although I should make the time to visit it next time I go home.