We come here to remember those who were killed, those who survived, and those changed forever. May all who leave here know the impact of violence. May this memorial offer comfort, strength, peace, hope, and serenity.
Resilience is a documentary co-produced by OETA and The Oklahoman to commemorate that anniversary. Lots of clips can be had at the link and here, too. It’s quite good, FWIW, with archival footage and current interviews with survivors, first responders, and others.
And now I’m going to make a potentially controversial statement: The bombing was a tragic, but important, milestone in the history of Oklahoma and of this nation. I say “important” because Oklahoma City showed the nation two things in the aftermath. One is the “The Oklahoma Standard.” That is one thing I will say about my state, I think the Oklahoma Standard is a good thing. It’s a magnified way of saying to humanity, “Don’t be a dick.” I wish some of our more strident GOP state legislators would remember that sometimes when they construct laws that might be a hinderance to some Oklahomans. I also hope they hold their tongues when former President Bill Clinton speaks on Sunday at the observances.
The other thing is that it’s hard not to swallow one’s pride at how Oklahoma City has risen from the ashes to the city that it is today. Yeah, Oklahoma City still has problems (most of them admittedly reside in that big crumbling building on Lincoln Boulevard), but it is a long, long way from the Oklahoma City of, say, April 18, 1995. OKC is alive, vibrant, and … you know, it’s even cool sometimes. The angsty feelings seem more apparent during this week, when Oklahoma City’s modern symbol of civic pride, the Thunder*, didn’t make the NBA postseason (but hey, injuries and all, they didn’t get eliminated from contention until the very last night of the season. There’s some resilience for you, on a smaller level).
Do not think I am being disrespectful of the survivors if I don’t drape myself in black and be mopey all weekend. My former landlord – as good a guy as you’ll ever meet – survived the Murrah bombing. I always keep those survivors in my thoughts in my own way, and most certainly will this weekend.
But also don’t be surprised if you see this blog go the dumb shite/pop culture/kittens route this weekend. IT IS MY WAY OF DEALING WITH IT TO KEEP SANE.If you don’t like that, perhaps maybe disfollow for a bit.
* I also don’t feel like getting into a pissing match about the Thunder and how they got to Oklahoma City. Look, I don’t exactly like how they got here either, but I love the team, and they’re here. So there.
Amid nationwide outrage over a police officer’s shooting eight bullets at the back of an unarmed, fleeing suspect in South Carolina, the statement by the local police union had a half-sentence of regret and contrition: Yes, it said, the fatal shooting was “beyond comprehension.”