For those who took time to read, and those who may have missed my original post, please join me in remembering the victims and survivors of the Oklahoma City Bombing.
Twenty-five years ago on a mild spring morning, an explosion rocked downtown Oklahoma City. I worked the night shift at the time, less than a mile from the Alfred P. Murrah Building. I’d only been outside a moment when the bomb shattered windows for blocks, shaking the ground under my feet. To say the sound was deafening is an understatement. The front half of the nine-story building collapsed, top-to-bottom. One hundred sixty-eight lives ended abruptly at 9:02 am that Wednesday.
For those who lost family and friends, the absence of their loved ones surely remains constant. Survivors carry scars and painful memories. First Responders can recall every detail of that day and the countless hours spent searching for survivors. Hours turned into days as rescue became recovery. Their bravery is not forgotten.
Kim Clark was a friend of mine. While we weren’t extremely close, we shared a common interest. She was engaged to my ex-boyfriend. They were only weeks from their wedding date. I hadn’t seen her since we shared Thanksgiving together at a mutual friends’ home. She worked for the Department of Housing and Urban Development on the eighth floor of the building. I try not to think about what that moment was like for her. My hope has been that her death was immediate. Kim was 39 years old.
While I rarely discuss that day, I never forget. Every time I see a Ryder truck, I remember. When I’m in Oklahoma, the memorial is always part of my visit. I sit on steps by the reflecting pool and watch the sun set. If the weather is cold, I bundle up and walk around for a while. I’ll stop at the 8th row chair reserved in Kim’s honor. It’s surreal to walk on the grass among the 168 empty chairs and realize this is ‘ground zero’; this was death. It’s hard to fathom the destruction and loss. The park is a peaceful place to pause and appreciate life.
This year the OKC Thunder is remembering with all Oklahomans. Since 2008, team ownership has required new staff and players tour the Memorial to experience and understand what is now known as “The Oklahoma Standard” (service, honor and kindness; a resilient spirit wrapped in goodwill and compassion.) The Thunder has partnered with the OKC National Memorial and Museum to underwrite a new exhibit highlighting this standard. The team will cover admission costs on the 25th of every month of 2020. They’ve created a special uniform scheduled to be worn several times this year, and displayed in the exhibit.
The uniforms are black with Oklahoma City in gold letting on the front. There are gold bars running top-to-bottom on the sides representing the ‘gates of time’. The times 9:01 and 9:03 appear on the vent portion of the shorts. The ‘survivor tree’ is found on the belt of the shorts. A blue ribbon can be found inside the jersey with the words “We Remember Those Who Were Changed Forever, April 19, 1995.”
Now living in Michigan, I won’t have the opportunity to participate in any special giveaways that might be a part of the current basketball season. I have no friends in OKC who attend the games. I don’t collect basketball cards so am asking for your help. I won’t have basketball to trade in return. Please, keep me in mind should you find any Thunder cards specifically honoring the victims, or memorial. I’m not collecting regular Thunder basketball as I don’t follow the sport. I’m reaching out to you for assistance. This is more than a ‘wantlist’ request. It is deeply personal to me.
|courtesy of Google Images|
I’m seeking any Thunder memorabilia from the current season (2019-2020) specific to the Memorial, or trading cards which clearly feature the special Thunder jersey being worn this year. I realize these cards likely won’t make their appearance until much later this year, or early next. Should they be available, I’d like to add relics featuring the Survivor Tree, Blue Ribbon and/or the Time portion of the shorts. As these are larger pieces, I fear they'll be too expensive for my budget.
If you are ever in Oklahoma City, please take a few hours to explore the museum and walk along the reflecting pool. I try to time my visit to the Memorial with sunset. The chairs are illuminated from dusk to dawn. It's an especially moving tribute those who perished, as the memory of each soul burns forever brightly in the hearts and minds of their loved ones.
Would you please take a few moments to review the links throughout this post?
Thank you for reading.
*all photos are my own except uniform as noted above