The Forgotten

A Dedication to Oklahoma City

The Forgotten cover


Philippians 3:20-21

But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

It seems like the first day of spring with branches budding and birds bathing in the reflecting pond. Folks lounge commemorating the forgotten. They read the names of God’s children on the soot-caked wall that stands in infamy; sons and daughters that will live on in our hearts forever. A tear gently falls as I pause between the bronze plated walls. God’s presence is here – amongst the pines and the pond. A young ranger tries to make sense of it all, and he can’t give answers to the senseless ‘why?’ questions.

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The reflecting pond at Oklahoma City Memorial and Museum. Photo by Dana Bicks LLC.

It was a beautiful morning, similar to an early summer day, and the employees paraded in holding their children’s hand. There was a State to run, and a daycare downstairs meant Mom was not very far away. But everything changed in a blink of a second. Just as so many times before they thought it was safe, a non-conspicuous van double parked by the entrance.

April 19, 1995, at 9:03 AM will live on in infamy.

Today, a young gentleman lays his hand in the blessed waters of the reflection pond and places his palm against the bronzed plated wall. I reverently observed, not wanting to ask about his connection to this sacred site. But it was clearly a tribute to God who is ever mindful of the innocent, but now lost. There is a special place held in heaven for these blessed children of this casualty.

I am touched to the core. Girls and boys of every color and creed were saved by grace that day. They take their place in the shade of a one-hundred-year-old elm tree – its limbs almost dead from the blast. I stand in the shadow and feel the presence of kids running hither and yon around my legs. The muffled laughter of children now resides with the Lord. He held their hands and guided them away to the promised land. God bless every child and their families involved in the Oklahoma City bombing of 1995.

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The “survivor tree”. Photo by Dana Bicks LLC

EDITOR’S HISTORY NOTES:

This true narrative was written based on a recent visit to the historical site of the Oklahoma City terrorist bombing – Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. This beautiful and serene site is dedicated to its 168 victims who were in the building, a woman in the parking lot across the street, a rescue worker struck in the head by debris, and three others in adjoining buildings.

Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, ex-army companions, plotted this travesty to show revenge for the US Federal Government’s participation in the burning of Waco. Before his decision to bomb the building, he considered assassinating some government officials involved in the Waco incident but later felt his message of disdain would be better perceived if many people were killed. So, McVeigh considered government buildings in Missouri, Arizona, Texas, and Little Rock, Arkansas.

McVeigh and Nichols purchased or stole the fertilizer and chemicals needed to bomb the building. Four days prior to the attack, he rented a Ryder truck using an alias name and parked a getaway car several blocks from the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. His original plan was to destroy the building at 11 AM but that morning Timothy, instead, chose 9 AM. With 4,800 pounds of explosives, and a manila envelope carrying pages from The Turner Diaries, he detonated two bombs at 9:03 AM. It could be heard and felt up to 55 miles away. Ninety minutes later, McVeigh was stopped on an interstate for driving a vehicle without a license plate and having a concealed weapon.

On June 11, 2001, Timothy McVeigh was executed by lethal injection. Terry Nichols stood trial twice and now serves a life sentence, without chance of parole.

The National Park Service’s memorial site is at the location of the bombing. Before entering the grounds, a chain link fence displays hundreds of notes, pictures, teddy bears, etc. left in commemoration of the many children who passed away from this senseless act.

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Besides the empty chair monuments which represent every fallen victim, a reflecting pond was created to allow time for visitors to reflect on this historical moment. On the opposite side, still stands “the survivor tree,” a one-hundred-year-old American Elm. Two years after the bombing, an arborist saved its life, so today it stands to remind us that life continues after tragedy.

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Empty chair monuments representing each fallen victim. Photo by Dana Bicks LLC.

 

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The “Survivor Tree”. Photo by Dana Bicks LLC.

 

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My Battle Cry

A dedication to Parkland High School Massacre

My Battle Cry cover


The battle lines are drawn as hearts shred and tear apart. Grim headlines clarify the horror as our children turn into men. Families come together for a candlelight vigil, and one can’t help but think, where is the love of God in these lost, young souls? We stand at attention and mourn. God never intended the innocence of a child to cause such volcanic violence.

Hatred causes bloodshed as cannons roar long before dawn. Nothing is sacred anymore–not a home, school, or a church! Hospitals are filled with heroes as Satan’s assailants silently roam.

We live in a society filled with denial as we lead a vibrant generation astray into the dark, leaving them to render a life of impulse and issues of mental health. God remains on a dusty shelf like a bookend; only when we have time. We walk away from a bitter cold reality and life makes a change. Our loving Father, the creator of all good, cries for His children.

At birth, every child is a gift of perfection from our Holy Father. They are God’s possession, not ours. He temporarily places children under a parent’s care with the obligation to love, teach, discipline, and direct their spiritual and moral character. But we fall short, more times than not, creating a devastating impact on a child’s self-image. Today, how many homes and schools have the Ten Commandments or the Lord’s Prayer hanging on their walls? Exactly! Our children are perplexed and left with a lack of direction.

My Battle Cry 1 Amid this tragic chain of events, in yet another school massacre, we ask, why? In my opinion and many others, too, it is a foundation issue. Is God in their life? Our homes should be a training ground for values and love of mankind.

On this day, God, I pray my battle cry. Give parents guidance and the strength to raise Your children by Your word. Shed thy grace upon them. May we give You our sorrows for the young victims, survivors, and their families of Parkland High School in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Our hearts are heavy and spirits weary. Let them rest in peace with Your arms wrapped around them, tightly!

 


God bless all the victims and their families!

My Battle Cry victims

God Cries With Us

God will help us all to try to recover from this history…..


God Cries With Us Part 1

I listen to the rain as it dances on my rooftop…. and God cries with us.

 

God Cries With Us Part 2

But now I see…. God cries with us.

 

God Cries With Us Part 3

Reverently our hearts are one. Harmonizing our battle cry we will never salute those who sit and do nothing….as God cries with us.

 

God Cries With Us Part 4

We must unite….as our God cries with us.

 

God Cries With Us Part 5

Knowing times like these…. even God cries with us.

 


God Cries With Us 1

Heaven’s Message

We are too busy to get involved so our children render a life of impulse.


Heaven's Message

The battle lines are drawn. Hearts are torn, and love is ripped to shreds as children turn into adults. The grim headlines clarify the horror as families come together. I think to myself, why do we wait to show the love after lost souls are gone? God never intended for innocence to turn into violence. But hatred causes bloodshed, and the cannons roar long before dawn. Nothing is sacred – not a home, not a school, nor a church. Hospitals are filled with heroes as assailants wound.

It appears we livHeaven's Message 2e in denial, unaffected because we dodge the bullets; just too busy to be concerned. God remains where we have time, collecting dust amongst the shelves. Pathetically, we walk away from reality, and life has changed. We can’t leave keys in the car when we stop by the store nor leave the front door unlocked when crawling in from another hard day.

 

Protecting our domains from predators, we do conscientiously care about our belongings; but let us alter the paths of our predecessors, and we lead a vibrant generation astray into the wilderness. We are too busy to get involved, so our children render a life of impulse.

 

Though it is only now, as I look in the mirror, that I see where we went wrong. The headlines read like a saga tabloid. Restraint, a sport for only the old, God blesses them with the courage to abstain. Now our homes become the frontline battleground. Dear Lord, we beg for mercy!

 

Heaven's Message 5

The grass burns brown, and the roses wilt on the headstones. Love that once thrived goes up in smoke. The bombs of lies explode, and everything returns to dust. Morning comes, or does it, or is it just the light that shines on yesterday’s buried news?

 

The emptiness echoes in hollow hearts, and we armor ourselves for the day ahead. God is our only escape from the tortured statues as memories are erased. Heaven repeats “forgive those that know not” for they know only hate. Love was never taught – God bless the unruly.

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