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Oklahoma City National Memorial: Sad Instance of Terrorism in the U.S.

I live in Houston and have worked as a nurse. I have a lifelong passion for traveling, nature, and photography (preferably all together!).

Oklahoma City National Memorial

Oklahoma City National Memorial

Oklahoma City National Memorial

A singular act of homegrown terrorism marked Oklahoma City forever on April 19, 1995. Now the Oklahoma City National Memorial stands as a testament to the bravery and resilience exhibited by the people who survived, those who sadly died, and the rescuers who stood in that path of horror created in one flash of a moment.

One can almost become numbed by listening to the news regarding acts of horrific terrorism all across the world on a semi-regular basis. It is somehow different when viewing first-hand what remains after a homegrown act of terrorism that killed and injured hundreds of people. It leaves a footprint in the mind and soul of all the many lives impacted that eventful day.

September 11, 2001, was the fateful event that has been seared into most people's minds worldwide. Foreign terrorists flew airplanes into the twin towers in New York, the Pentagon and attempted even further destruction, but for the brave souls aboard one of the hijacked planes who thwarted their efforts. The death toll that day was astounding!

Most of the world was still reeling in shock over that event when my mother and I were on our way to visit relatives in Iowa. It was about a month later. We decided to stop off and pay a visit to the site of the worst terrorist attack on American soil before the monstrous acts of 9/11 to pay our respects.

Walking through the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Memorial Center one bright October day in that same year of 2001, what we saw is stamped upon our memories forever.

Good Versus Evil

Good as well as evil, live side by side in this world. That embodiment of good or evil inside of only one person can work to effect substantial change for the betterment of life on this planet or work to create immense havoc and destruction.

One example of good and the effects of one person's efforts would be Mother Teresa. Most people are familiar with her, working and living among the poor and the good that she accomplished in her lifetime.

One such incarnation of evil known as Timothy McVeigh got the death penalty because of these atrocities. He decided to kill innocent people one fine morning of April 19, 1995, at 9:02 AM. He, and his co-conspirator Terry Nichols, knew the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City would be full of people. They were staffing offices, some were visiting the building, and others had gone to work that day doing various jobs.

These were both American men who had grown up surrounded with many of the same experiences many of us have and a value system most of us hold dear. These two unhappy and misguided individuals who decided to express themselves with this horrendous act of violence will probably give criminal psychologists subject matter to study for years to come.

The Memorial Fence and east Gate of Time at the Oklahoma City National Memorial.

The Memorial Fence and east Gate of Time at the Oklahoma City National Memorial.

Lest We Forget

3.3 acres in downtown Oklahoma City, are now designated as Memorial grounds, which includes the area where the Murrah Federal Building once stood.

Damage occurred to hundreds of other buildings that April day when the truck filled with a 5,000-pound bomb of explosives tore apart the Murrah building killing 168 people, 19 of whom were children. There was a daycare located inside that building. More than 700 other people were injured.

Thousands of rescue workers and volunteers swarmed into the area to do what they could to save lives and salvage what remained.

The Memorial Center is so touching! It is hard for mere words to do it justice.

It took about five years to be developed and consists of part of the original chain link fencing adjacent to a new exterior wall that originally marked off the blast area. People continue to hang stuffed animals and attach photos, letters, and forms of remembrance to that fencing, which we passed on our way into the center of the Memorial grounds.

Gates of Time

There are two Gates of Time standing sentry and from which one can enter the grounds. One has the time 9:01 and the other, 9:03, symbolizing the time before the earth-shattering event and the minute after it had exploded, changing lives forever at precisely 9:02 AM.

A 318-foot reflection pool delineates the space with the peaceful sound and looks of water.

Survivors

An 80-year-old American Elm tree that survived the blast has an inscription at its base that reads: "The spirit of this city and nation will not be defeated; our deeply rooted faith sustains us."

This Survivor Tree had shards and remnants of what had spewed forth from that fatal blast that sad day. Like the other 800 plus human survivors, it is a living symbol of beauty despite its scars and stands as a sign of resilience to what evil forces had accomplished.

A Survivor Chapel and a Rescuers Orchard honor those who lived and helped others to live. Inscribed upon large pieces of granite recovered from the Murrah Building are those survivor names.

The Survivor Tree and Rescuers' Orchard

The Survivor Tree and Rescuers' Orchard

Interactive Site

Children of all ages can leave messages onto the embedded chalkboards in the ground. There are hand-painted tiles sent by children also adorning this area on the northwest corner of the memorial.

The Memorial Museum is an interactive one and is housed in the west end of the former Journal Record Building just north of the Memorial site. The Journal Record Building originates from 1923 and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Journal Record Building

Journal Record Building

The Chairs

By far, the part of the Memorial grounds that left my mother and me with lumps in our throats was viewing the 168 glass, bronze, and granite chairs that sit empty and represent each of the lost lives that fateful day.

Each of them is similar in appearance, but each is also slightly different in proportion representing the individuality of the people killed so heartlessly that day. Each chair bears the name of a person who died inside the Murrah Federal Building. The 19 smaller children's chairs are poignant to view.

Was one of those children the one who might have cured cancer? Was another child the one who would have advanced the goal of curing worldwide hunger? These and other questions we shall never have answered.

The illuminated glass portions of the chairs shine at night.

My Prayer

Somber reverence permeates the Oklahoma City National Memorial. It memorializes those lives lost that day as well as those who survived. One does not have to know someone killed or personally affected by this tragedy to be impacted by this site.

It is hard to portray the range of emotions one has when standing in a memorial area like this one in Oklahoma City. My mother and I were overwhelmed with feelings which at times spilled over onto our faces with tears streaming down our cheeks. We saw other people dabbing at their faces.

My prayer is that we do not become so used to hearing about such violence that it ceases to touch us deeply. It is too easy to think that other people or cultures are at fault and that we can turn a deaf ear. No one is immune from this kind of evil, as this act of homegrown terrorism confirmed. Let's find better ways of communicating and sharing differences and form more peaceful resolutions.

Location of Oklahoma City National Memorial

Sources:

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2009 Peggy Woods

Comments are welcomed.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 02, 2021:

Hi Amy,

Visiting the Oklahoma City National Memorial is heart-wrenching. It is a sad indictment of humanity that acts of terrorism continue to this day. Thanks for the virtual visit to this site.

Amy on March 01, 2021:

Such a moving and powerful memorial to the terrible tragedy in Oklahoma City. I recall watching the TV coverage in stunned silence.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 17, 2013:

Hi moonlake,

It was very emotional for my mother and me to experience being at the memorial that has been erected in Oklahoma City even though we did not personally know anyone who was killed on that day. It just seems so senseless as are all such acts of terror. Now Boston will be added to the list as was New York...each on different days for those horrific acts of terror. My heart goes out to everyone affected which...like in the case of NY...is basically the world. We had marathon runners from all over the world in Boston on the 15th when those homemade bombs exploded killing 3 and injuring over 170+ people. So sad to think that there are people in the world that can hate that much!

moonlake from America on April 17, 2013:

I remember the day of the Oklahoma terrorist

bombing. My husband always called me in the morning before going on his mail route. I told him some building had fallen down in Oklahoma never thinking it would be from a bomb. I will never understand home grown terrorist and how they can hate their own country and people. Voted up and shared.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on June 12, 2012:

Hi Cheryl,

This is so true! My mother and I had the biggest lumps in our throats and tears in our eyes when viewing this memorial in Oklahoma City. Such useless violence with so many innocent lives lost on that terrible day. Appreciate your comment.

Cheryl J. from Houston, TX on June 11, 2012:

A wonderful and emotional hub on Homegrown-Terrorism. Oklahoma City will always be memoralized with candles, flowers, memories and lots of tears. Awesome hub.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 17, 2011:

Hello missolive,

It would be hard to visit the Oklahoma City National Memorial without being overwhelmed with feelings and emotions. Seeing those small chairs mingled with the larger ones representing the children who died is so touching. That memorial and all memorials elsewhere stand as reminders that terrorism anywhere is horrible and senseless. Thanks for your comment.

Marisa Hammond Olivares from Texas on October 17, 2011:

Peggy - Thank you for keeping this on the forefront. I visited the Memorial last Fall and there are truly no words to describe the vibe and emotions one feels. You have done an amazing job with your words, pictures and video. MissOlive

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 10, 2010:

Hello Urbane Chaos,

Thanks! Your hub about the Oklahoma City National Memorial is also great and I have included it as a link between some of the photos so that it would stand out. Let us pray that we put an end to homegrown and ALL terrorism worldwide. It is so senseless!

Eric Standridge from Oklahoma on December 09, 2010:

Really, really great article! It still takes my breath away everytime I see those pictures.. I couldn't imagine being at work and simply going about my business and then something like that happening. I remember watching all the events unfold as I sat stunned on my couch. It truely is a day that we'll never forget.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 19, 2010:

Hello christalluna1124,

I'll tell you what... When you visit this Oklahoma City Memmorial regarding the cowardly act of terrorism and the results of innocent lives lost...the tears will flow even more. It is so very moving. Terrorism of any kind is absolutely terrible but to think that this was of a homegrown nature somehow makes it even worse. Our enemies are the demons in some people's souls. Nice to find your comment here.

christalluna1124 from Dallas Texas on January 19, 2010:

Peggy, What a beautiful and touching tribute. I hope to visit and pay my respects on day. Your article touches my very soul and the pictures made the tears flow down my face as they did the day I saw it on tv.

warmest regards,

chris

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 24, 2009:

Hello Zollstock,

I can truthfully understand your wanting to protect your children from the evil facts of life as long as you can. Soon enough they will be exposed to terrorism whether they catch glimpses of it on the news, in newspapers or hearing about it from their friends or teachers in school.

As to your last question regarding the prevention of human violence on small or large scales...that it the eternal hope of those who would like to see peace.

Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.

Zollstock from Germany originally, now loving the Pacific NW on July 23, 2009:

Moving, thought-provoking, awareness-raising. Thanks so much for writing about this - I wasn't on this side of the ocean yet when it happened, and it is good for me to have that knowledge now. Whether I could take my children to see the memorial is another matter - your hub makes me question how much I want to educate vs protect them. Can human violence be prevented, on a large and a small scale?

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 21, 2009:

Hello swathin2,

Yes, I agree that terrorism hurts everyone from the source to the victims. No good comes from it. Thanks for your input into this discussion.

swathin2 on July 20, 2009:

terrorism is a major threat to one and all and ti destroys the country a lot. people think that they are doing some favor to their country but with this kind of approach they are not doing favor but destroying the good name of the country

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 18, 2009:

Hi Shirley,

It is no wonder that Mother Teresa was sainted.

Thanks for the compliment on my homegrown terrorism hub. Yes, my intent on writing it was to hopefully effect peace...not the opposite.

Thanks for your comment!

Shirley Anderson from Ontario, Canada on July 18, 2009:

Such mindless violence saddens my soul to its very core.

You spoke of Mother Teresa whom I think I respect more than anyone else in history. She was always 'for' something and against nothing. An well-known example is when she was asked to march in a protest against war. She refused, saying that she would march FOR peace but not AGAINST war. I think that she had the right idea to focus on what you want instead of feeding what you don't want. I have a feeling that it might work better.

You've written a great hub here, Peggy. I hope people really read and 'get' your message.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 18, 2009:

Hello again Aya,

I did not even know that a "sealed search warrant" was possible. An oxymoron for sure!

While you may not have all the facts of the case, since you were involved in a peaceful protest at the site, you were certainly following it more closely than the rest of us.

I would look forward to reading your hub about it from your perspective if you ever decide to write one.

Open discussions of events and ideas can only help to educate people and hopefully make things better for the future.

Thank you very much for your part in this.

Aya Katz from The Ozarks on July 18, 2009:

Peggy W, there was a sealed search warrant. What does this mean? That a Federal judge saw it and a prosecutor saw it, but no representative of the Branch Davidians nor any member of the general public was allowed to see it -- until the siege ended, by which time almost everybody involved was dead.

I would hardly say that I have "all the facts" about that case. I did follow it closely at the time, and I was involved in a peaceful protest close to the site.

I may do a hub about it sometime, but I'm not ready yet...

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 18, 2009:

Hi Aya,

I think that you are certainly raising awareness of civil liberties with your responses to this homegrown terrorism hub.

No search warrant? Amazing! If that is the fact, then I wonder on what basis this all transpired? Especially if local charges against polygamy, etc. were dismissed...

If you have all the facts of the case, perhaps you should do a hub regarding this.

Aya Katz from The Ozarks on July 18, 2009:

Peggy W, the question about Mt. Carmel is not whether the charges were trumped up so much as was there due process?

The answer: no there wasn't.

The Branch Davidians were not presented with a search warrant. Instead, Military style Federal troops (ATF first, later to be joined by FBI) stormed the compound without notice. This violates constitutional provisions against illegal search and seizure.

The Federal government has no jurisdiction in cases of polygamy, child molestation, and other domestic matters. The local authorities had already investigated Koresh and found nothing to prosecute.

As for the charges of illegal weapons, they were NEVER verified. There were stockpiles of legal weapons on the premises. No illegal weapons were ever found there.

The weapons excuse was just like the WMD pretext for the Iraq war.

The fact is these people were unpopular. Nobody raised a hand to protect them against somebody who for some reason chose to target them.

Extreme right wingers paid attention to these abuses of civil liberties. Left wingers, for some reason, did not. When the ACLU were asked to help, they refused.

Ironically, the same people who noticed the abuse of civil liberties in the Koresh case under the Clinton administration were completely blind to similar abuses of alleged Muslim extremists under the Bush administration.

I would like to raise awareness of the principles of civil liberties in both camps.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 18, 2009:

Hello Aya,

Thanks for coming back to discuss this further.

Since this happened a while back, my memory may not be recalling all the details as clearly as yours.

Unless all the charges were trumped up (false) this is why the government sought to take action. Koresh who was a self-proclaimed prophet was apparently holding some people against their will inside that cult (or if one does not like that terminology...gathering of like-mineded people). Polygamy was taking place; forced underage marriages; even rape charges were leveled against him and some of his followers.

No doubt about firearms and ammunition being stockpiled inside the confines of their location...that is not in dispute.

What was the government to do in such a case? The standoff had continued for many, many days at great taxpayer expense. The order was finally given to take charge and "go in."

Not having been there and not being privy to all the circumstances, I liken this (in my mind) to a SWAT team who responds when all peaceful forms of communication are no longer working and the order is finally given to enter the premises.

There is always the great risk of harm being done, but there is also a risk of waiting past the appropriate time of intervention and harm being done anyway.

After the fact...I am sure many evaluations were done just as today whenever a policeman shoots and kills a person. They are immediately taken out of the field until a thorough investigation is done.

In your opinion, given the charges, do you think government forces should have just maintained watch indefinitely? And what about the cost? Or should they have walked away and let the alleged polygamy, rape, etc. have continued?

Personally I do not believe that the FBI and our other law enforcement people PURPOSELY set off that firestorm intending to kill everyone inside. I DO believe they were finally given the order to flush people out into the open and end this standoff and bring people to justice.

Whether homegrown terrorism or foreign, not much of it ends well unless stopped completely in its tracks.

Aya, what in your opinion should have been done to end the standoff in Waco?

There were many government forces working together that day to effect an end to the standoff situation. Do you think that all of them did something contrary to orders?

Do you honestly believe that the intent was to kill everyone inside?

Personally I would find this hard to believe. If, in fact, that happened, then each and every one of them should have been prosecuted to the full extent of the law. And that means that there was a massive cover-up.

Remember, the news stations were covering this each day and in detail.

It is heartwrenching to even be thinking about the loss of life inside the Koresh cult as well as those in the Murrah building in Oklahoma City.

Thank you for continuing to discuss this. This is undoubtedly shedding some light on the subject for those that did not know of this tragedy.

Aya Katz from The Ozarks on July 18, 2009:

PeggyW, until it happened, I could not have predicted that it would be a Federal Building in Oklahoma City that would be blown up. But I definitely thought that it would be a Federal Building somewhere. In fact, every time I went into a Federal Building to carry on some personal business, after April 19, 1993, I asked myself: "What if this building is blown up today?"

The right thing to have done would be to prosecute the people responsible for the massacre near Waco as soon as it happened. This would have allowed the culpable to take responsibility for their actions. It would also have prevented acts of terrorism and the thirst for revenge. It would have saved all the lives lost in Oklahoma City.

After all, this is why we have laws against murder. To prevent vigilantes from taking things into their own hands.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 17, 2009:

Hello Aya,

I am happy to hear that you are not justifying terrorism because (as you say) "innocent lives are lost forever."

Many of us were glued to the nightly news and daily newspaper reports of Mt. Carmel and the standoff between the Koresh followers and the FBI and other law enforcement officers. When the standoff ended with fire and loss of life, that was a very tragic ending. I believe that most people were shocked and disheartened and very saddened.

From what you say, you knew immediately that the bombing of the Federal building in Oklahoma City must have been the retaliatory result from the sad ending at Mt. Carmel.

We all came to find out the link when McVeigh and his partner in crime were each apprehended, but HOW could this honestly have been predicted? Why the Oklahoma Federal building and not some other Federal building? How could those people have been prepared?

As I said earlier, if every wrong is "righted" with another wrong...then I predict peace as impossible to achieve.

Understanding the pathology of terrorists is one thing. But to take that and accurately link it to predictions of further action...that is tough. I am certain that practically every government agency world-wide is engaged in trying to do just that.

What can the individual person do who might be the next innocent victim of an angry terrorist? They seem to like to target civilians in everyday situations.

Aya Katz from The Ozarks on July 17, 2009:

Peggy, I'm not justifying terrorism. Innocent lives lost are lost forever.

However, it is a mistake not to try to understand the historical context. It is a mistake not to want to know what the terrorist was thinking.

People may have all sorts of psychological reasons for becoming terrorists -- but the individual history of the person -- his disappointments and personal problems -- should not be used to cover up the reason he felt his action would be of significance to other like-minded people.

The date of the Oklahoma City bombing was not chosen at random. Those of us who followed the events at Mt. Carmel, when we heard about what happened that day, knew immediately why it happened and we knew at once it was home grown terrorists who did it. Our friends who were aware of atrocities in Kosovo and around the world, but were unaware of the Mt. Carmel Massacre as an atrocity, actually believed it was Muslim terrorists from outside the US.

If you pay attention and try to understand the terrorist, you might be able to predict and prevent. If you close your eyes to his point of view, you will always be caught off guard.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 16, 2009:

Hello Aya,

Violence does not always have to beget violence. If everyone who would get angry at events or disagree with things would get violent, this world would be an even sorrier place in which to live.

Agreed, the standoff in Waco got totally out of control. David Koresh and his Branch Dividian followers had stockpiles of guns and ammunition. When they were told to vacate the place, they could have done so and sorted out any charges against them in a normal court of law but they chose not to do so.

That is a lurid piece of history loaded with accusations from both ends. Koresh who deemed himself a "Savior" and leader came from an extremely disfunctional family. Supposedly he was a polygamist and was accused of raping girls at age 10 and up. What is truth and what is fiction? I do not know nor pretend to know. All I know is that he had the power to end that standoff peacefully if he had wanted to do so.

Here is a link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Koresh

From what I have read about Timothy McVeigh, that was one factor making him angry at the government but was not the sole excuse for what he did. Have you read about his history? I put a link in this hub as to this.

McVeigh actually wanted to be in the U.S. Special Forces but was turned down for medical reasons. That made him angry! Child of divorce. That made him angry! Other things also.

In your opinion did any of these things JUSTIFY what he and his accomplice did in Oklahoma City? And if he REALLY thought our government purposely killed innocent people, just how was HIS killing of more innocent people going to help? I don't get the connection.

The purpose of my hub was to bring attention to the fact of this one memorial dedicated to those innocent people in Oklahoma City being killed.........and hopefully to bring about thoughts of more peaceful resolutions of problems, complaints, etc. in the future. Nothing more than that.

Thanks for your comment.

Aya Katz from The Ozarks on July 16, 2009:

The Oklahoma City bombing was a response by home grown terrorists to an act that our own government, during the Clinton administration, perpetrated against the men, women and children of Mt. Carmel near Waco, Texas in 1993. Helpless children died there, too. Violence begets violence. I hope that you will cover that event as closely, because it, too, was an atrocity.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 15, 2009:

Hi Melody,

Couldn't agree with you more! Thanks for your comment.

Melody Lagrimas from Philippines on July 15, 2009:

Very sad and terrible indeed.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 15, 2009:

Hi shamelabboush,

Many, many people continue to visit it and most people (hopefully) walk away with an increased desire to work towards peace among people everywhere.

If you travel that way and ever visit it in person, please leave another comment as to how it made you feel. Thanks!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 15, 2009:

Hi Kiran,

Killing in the name of religion makes even LESS sense yet historically so many battles, crusades, etc. have been done for that reason.

When will people wake up and realize that we are all more alike than different and the differences between us can truly spice up life and make it more interesting?

Thanks and hoping the continued violence in your country ends soon. Very sad to read about it knowing the heartache caused on a daily basis.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 15, 2009:

Hi G-Ma,

If seeing this on the Internet gave you chills, I think you can understand why it moved my mother and me to tears when actually there in person. I can't even IMAGINE what the feeling must be like in that area of New York where many more lost their lives to this senseless violence.

Thanks G-Ma and some extra hugs to everyone!

shamelabboush on July 15, 2009:

I don't know about this National Memorial, but after reading this article, I have an urge to visit it and offer my respect to those poor victims. So sorry for them.

kiran8 from Mangalore, India on July 14, 2009:

As you say Terrorism is senseless, but they carry on no matter what, here in India fioghting terrorism is an every day affair and we have lost thousans of people in the name of religion and god knows what else? it still goes on at Kashmir valley, where there are deaths of civilians and military personnel every single day....Thanks a lot peggy for a touching account :)

Merle Ann Johnson from NW in the land of the Free on July 14, 2009:

**pheww** sitting here with chills running down my body...this was a wonderful tribute as well as reminder...and when you told about the lights under the children's chairs i got tears in my eyers..also about the time at the gates...woweee...very touching...Thanks...:O) Hugs and prayers to all

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 14, 2009:

Greetings AsherKade,

Yes...it is amazing how fast time moves these days...especially for those of us who have lived awhile. LOL Thanks for the comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 14, 2009:

Hi Candie V,

I agree that they did a really good job with the Memorial. Hug away! Good idea for every day! Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

AsherKade from Texas on July 14, 2009:

Hard to imagine that was 14 yrs ago...you did well on your hub...

Candie V from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure! on July 14, 2009:

Goosebumps. This gave me goosebumps. I remember where I was, just as I remember the entire day of 9/11. What a glorious memorial. Thank you Peggy. I will remember to give someone a special hug today, because we just never know.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 14, 2009:

Dear SEM Pro, Thank you for your words of wisdom.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 14, 2009:

Thanks Ethel. Not only is this Oklahoma City National Memorial a place of tribute, but hopefully a place to study and dissuade more acts of terrorism wherever they might arise. Tall order! But worth it! Thanks for your comment.

SEM Pro from North America on July 14, 2009:

"begin within and speak out against atrocities" - thank you Peggy. Your voice reaches more than our ears - it encompasses our souls. There will be a day when no one remains untouched or unmoved = "on earth as it is in heaven"

Ethel Smith from Kingston-Upon-Hull on July 14, 2009:

Terrible. What can we say except like you "Lest we forget"

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 14, 2009:

Hi Tom,

It is definitely a moving experience being there in person. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.

Tom rubenoff from United States on July 14, 2009:

Thanks, Peggy, for this very moving article. My heart goes out to the families.

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