10 September 2003
Today I went to the Fence.
The Fence defines a boundary of the Oklahoma City National Memorial; if you're eastbound on Northwest 5th Street going downtown, you head right toward it. Which I was, and which I did.
The Fence was installed as a routine security item. But its appearance is anything but routine: threaded through its metal links, you'll find the stuff of memories, items left by mourners, something personal to offset the starkness of the empty chairs.
The Fence is familiar to us all; we've seen it a thousand times, reduced to the size of our living rooms. But that familiarity still doesn't prepare us for the sight of the real thing.
Tomorrow there will be an observance at Ground Zero. I'm afraid that were I there, I would find the experience completely overwhelming; even now, after eight years, I find I am still affected by the Fence.
Posted at 5:32 PM to City Scene
I feel it, dear. Take care.
That act hit us all pretty hard. The memorial itself still strikes a chord in me everytime I see it. I knew no one there. I'm not a native Oklahoman. I'm reminded of what Deng Ming-Dao says about time:
"We must understand how the past affects us, we shold keep the present full of rich and satisfying experiences, and we should devote soem energy each day to building for the future. Just as a river can be said to have parts that cannot be clearly divided, so too should we consider the whole of our time when deciding how to spend our lives."
What shakes me is that there were probably so many unsaid words and sentiments. It is still a terrible stain of sadness when I think back to the tragedy. You're not the only one that is overwhelmed.
[hit enter too damned quickly]
My thoughts are with you Chaz.
I only wish you could justly convey the impact of being in presence of the Fence to your readers who have never experienced it. It moves me more than any other portion of the memorial. A fitting time for you to bring it up.