Contributed by OKWB community member Mari Farthing
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing. It was an event whose impact was felt far and wide, which reached to all corners of our country and even beyond.
After the attack, the people of Oklahoma committed to healing. To help where help was needed. To give—and then give more—to those in need. This terrible act allowed the best part of humanity to shine through, something that’s being celebrated this year as The Oklahoma Standard.
The Oklahoma Standard consists of 3 parts:
- Service: Help someone in need.
- Honor: Show honor to those directly impacted by visiting the Memorial.
- Kindness: Be kind to others.
These acts can be small to big, and all of them are necessary. We all hear about how random acts of kindness make someone’s day—this is a way to incorporate that into everyday life. I love this program and how my children are responding to it. You can sign up at The Oklahoma Standard site, and download a badge to show your commitment.
The Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum
One of the parts of the Oklahoma Standard includes a visit to the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, which serves the dual purpose of honoring those who were directly impacted by the bombing and to educate new generations about how that event turned into a story of hope and healing.
I took my kids to visit the Memorial—they have been aware of it, and have even visited it before, but they are older now, and have a more full awareness of why it exists. It’s a somber place, but also hopeful. A place of meditation and contemplation. We visited on a drizzly Saturday but managed to get there during a break in the weather.
We talked about what happened, about how it changed things, about what it means to honor.
Visiting the Survivor Tree
Cloudy, clear reflection
We didn’t visit the museum on this visit, but we did go into the museum store. I picked up an Oklahoma Standard bracelet for $5 and my daughter picked up a pin to leave at the fence in honor of those who lost their lives in the tragedy.
Eat Local: Irma’s Burger Shack
Just down the road from the Memorial is Midtown, home of a wonderful revitalization that includes many local eateries. One of my favorites that’s been around for more than a few years is Irma’s Burger Shack. The original Irma’s opened on 63rd near Western in 2003, and the Midtown location at Plaza Court, just a 15 minute walk from the Memorial.
This part of town is hopping busy during the week, but on a weekend during the day, traffic is lighter and it might be easier to get a seat at one of the restaurants around the area.
If you choose to drive, you get to do laps in the traffic circle… or maybe that’s just me. I’ve had many different items on the menu and have never been disappointed—the only problem we seem to have is not ordering too much food. We chose to start with fried pickles and fried okra and both were awesomely hot, crispy and delicious.
The kids complained about their kid-sized drink cups, but the refills were frequent and plentiful, so that quieted down quickly.
A few other must-visit places in the area include:
- Verdigris, on 7th St between Walker and Hudson. A shop first opened by two sisters, you won’t leave this shop without finding something you can’t find anywhere else, from antiques to art pieces.
- Bleu Garten on 10th between Harvey and Hudson, which is like an al fresco food truck court. Their website has a schedule of what food trucks will be available when.
- The Oklahoma City Museum of Art, which includes permanent exhibits and special exhibits, is just a bit south on Couch Drive between Walker and Hudson.
Mari Farthing is a writer and editor in the Oklahoma City area. She blogs about all the things at MariFarthing.com and likes to spend her free time creating things, enjoying things and traveling with her husband & two kids.