Running to Remember: Oklahoma City Federal Building Bombing

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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.ยฎ

Rarely do I cry during a run because I am emotionally moved. If tears are flowing, it’s usually because of some stabbing pain or the feeling of finishing a very challenging run! The ONE exception is the Oklahoma City National Memorial Half Marathon. If you only run one half marathon in your life, you must sign up for this one.

It’s usually held about this time of year, but due to the ‘vid’, it has been postponed until October 4, 2020.

The run is in memoriam of the bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building which sadly happened on April 19, 1995. The Memorial itself is soooo well done and provides a very educational trail of events leading up to the bombing – they even have Timothy McVeigh’s car in the museum. I just want to throat punch that guy.

168 chairs at the Memorial

Anyhow, I had the opportunity to run this race in April of 2019. WOW, what an impact it had on me. I met up with some of my most favorite clients and colleagues at the race start. From that point forward, the whole experience was gut-wrenching.

Race Start

The race announcers asked us to remain silent for 168 seconds at the beginning of the race – I’m not kidding when I say this, 25,000 runners remained silent. It gave me the chills. The number 168 represents the number of victims of the bombing. It gives me chills to even write that sentence.

I am pretty sure at least 25% or more of the city of Oklahoma City came out to cheer for us. For them, this race is about moving on, trying to celebrate lives lost, and finding comfort in being part of a tight community.

Seeing the spectators and realizing that nearly every single person out there had a connection to this tragedy, was moving for me. They re-routed the course this year to run through a neighborhood where many of the victims once lived. Oh boy, the loving memories posted in these neighborhoods were touching.

Throughout the entire race I was on the verge of uncontrollable tears. I got to about mile 10, which is called Gorilla Hill – the only real hill on the course. I finally laughed because there was a guy in a gorilla costume handing out bananas – he happened to be one of my clients. haha. That was the calm before the storm.

I rounded the corner and low and behold, they had banners of every victim who perished in the bombing, including the kids (all 19 of them). I started crying so hard, I couldn’t breathe – I honestly thought I was going to die that day as I could not catch my breath. Not one word was said along that 1 mile stretch of the course – everyone was sobbing.

The banners ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

The run, the course, the spectators and the reason we were out there on that beautiful spring day was incredible – I’ll never forget it. If you are a runner, I highly recommend this race. If you do it, go through the Museum first – just bring a box of tissues – you’ll need it.

It’s good to feel emotion โค๏ธ

Cheers,

….i choose this….

Pam

52 comments

  1. Thank you for this glimpse into what that run is like. I’d be moved to tears, too. Oklahoma City bombing was the first time I realized how evil truly lurks among us, benign, and awful. The tragedy was a turning point in my understanding of mankind.

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    1. OMG AB. The whole thing just makes me sick to my stomach. It’s out there among us – I try not to think about it. There is a show on Netflix called Waco – about the whole event that triggered this tragedy. Not sure I can watch it.

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    1. oh gosh – was everyone just bawling? I love Oklahomans (?). After 9/11 around the new year – 4 months after the attack, I stood in line for HOURS in downtown NYC to stand on a makeshift platform of the bombing area – they were still finding people. It was a crazy time.

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    1. It’s soo incredible. For some reason, I am moved more by this than the 9/11 memorial. Maybe, because I now have a bunch of friends who live there and were, in some way, impacted by the event. The 9/11 museum is incredible too. Thanks for reading!

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  2. What a moving tribute, it is indeed good to feel emotion! I was moved just reading your amazing account, I do remember that horrible day ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I probably wouldn’t participate in a marathon (in fact if you see me running, you better run too because something is chasing me) but I’m glad they hold it every year. What a great way to remember โค

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I. Must. Run. That. Race. I love to cry good tears. At the Marine Corps Marathon, they have the Blue Mile with pictures of Marines who were killed in action lining both sides of the road. After that, family members of those Marines are waving flags and cheering for the runners. I cried for the entire mile. Again, good tears.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It was one of the most chilling documentaries I have ever watched. The memorial looks beautiful and makes for a perfect way to remember those that were killed during the bombing. Thanks for sharing and have a good day ๐Ÿ˜€ Aiva

    Liked by 1 person

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