When I was in Oklahoma City, this week, I visited the memorial and was able to finally meet the director face to face, not missing the opportunity to mention my book about the event and the days that followed, but also asking about the changes being made at the museum. Those enhancements are both extensive and expensive, but they will undoubtedly keep the place relevant and alive in the memories of many, and meaningful to those who are too young to remember it first hand.
The museum, which is reasonably-priced and well worth every cent of the admission fee, now has exhibits outlining more of the investigation that led to the arrests, trials, and convictions of Timothy McVeigh, Terry Nichols, et al. One now has the opportunity to see real pieces of the moving truck that contained the 4,000-pound bomb, including one of the axles. I was taken aback to see McVeigh's gun - a glock - that he had on his person at the time of his arrest (initially a routine traffic stop in northern Oklahoma). I was intrigued to see the power drill, owned by Terry Nichols, and proven to have been used (by the patterns on the hole made by a specific drill bit) to break into a padlock. Other additions to the museum will include a hotel sign from a facility used by McVeigh while executing his mission, and his actual getaway vehicle.
The education director invited my wife and me to visit the exhibits, and she comped us two tickets so we could see the changes in progress for ourselves. As always and without a doubt, the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum is world class!
Without too much in review, I taught a group of second graders, at the time, just four miles from the terrorist bombing site at the Murrah Federal Building. We felt it. We heard it. We spent weeks talking about it. Since that time, I have written a book, entitled Crumbling Spirit, to share those same experiences, only the story is told through the diary entries of a 10-year-old girl named Julia.