Where Innocence Was Left Behind

090224okc_header“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.”
- Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum

090224okc_interiorOn April 19, 1995, the deadliest act of terrorism on U.S. soil prior to Sept. 11, 2001 occurred when the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was bombed in downtown Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The attack killed 168 people and injured over 800 in a horrible act of cowardice that lingers strongly over the Memorial. Beautifully laid out in the heart of downtown with a long, thin lake, two large rectangular structures and 168 individual chairs symbolizing each passed victim, the Memorial stands today to “Honor the victims, survivors, rescuers and all who were changed forever,” as stated at the site.

Some Lakers staffers ventured to the site on Tuesday afternoon, hours before tipoff at OKC’s Ford Center, where L.A. would take on the Thunder for the first time in their building this season.

“It’s just such a sad thing with no justification or explanation,” said assistant coach Jim Cleamons. “We have to be thankful for what we have.”

If nothing else, visiting the site – a truly sobering experience – lent some perspective on the game of basketball that we’re all quite fortunate to watch and be a part of.