Kevn C. has something to say

Surprise, surprise, I?m back on the blog circuit after a summer-long hiatus. While I generally eschew the blog for reasons I won?t get into now, I felt it
was time to make a point and say something while I?m here in Oklahoma City.
This morning I walked over to the memorial where the Federal Building once
stood. And all these years after that building was blown apart, you can still
sense the loss and the grief and the pain as if it happened yesterday. The
sculptures of the chairs representing the victims of the bombing is haunting and
it?s difficult to look away when you?re standing there, looking across an open
field, knowing just how many people died as a result of that terrible day.
There is also a sadness that emanates from the reflecting pool as well, as
if the souls of those who died there remain, serving as a reminder of what
happened and what we need to do as a society to prevent such an unspeakable act
from happening again.
As I walked around the grounds there were many people there with me but
there wasn?t much talking. A National Parks employee stood by the pool,
answering questions if anyone wanted to know anything about the memorial or the
bombing but otherwise, there was silence under a brilliant blue fall sky.
I live just outside New York City and visiting this site was something I
had planned on doing ever since I was told I?d be headed to Oklahoma for the
Bricktown Showdown. I lost friends on 9/11 at the World Trade Center and have
watched in wonder how the folks planning the memorial and rebuilding in downtown
Manhattan have bungled the whole thing almost from the outset.
It?s embarrassing how New York State, New York City, federal officials and
the private sector have mishandled the whole operation. So much so, it would
probably behoove them to pay a visit to the Memorial here if they haven?t
already and see just how quickly and respectfully a plan was enacted after the
bombing took place.
If I lived in Oklahoma City I?d be very proud of how my city has taken care
of the people who lost their lives and preserved their memory.
I?ve often thought that most people away from the East Coast have viewed
what happened on 9/11 as something catastrophic but also as something that took
place somewhere else. I?ve spoken to people in California, Arizona and Colorado
about 9/11 and what happened in New York and Washington and Pennsylvania that
day and they don?t understand the magnitude of it all.
But being from New York, I?m reminded of it every time I fly in and out of
Newark or LaGuardia and see something missing in the skyline. And that feeling
of being violated pops up every time I drive into the city as well, knowing that
as great a city as it is, it will never be the same.
And as I stood there this morning, reading the names of those who died,
knowing that many of them were children, I realized that as a New Yorker, I
never fully understood what happened here or the impact it had. And while I?m
not sure I completely understand now, having visited the memorial certainly gave
me a better idea of what the brave people in this community endured.

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