Day 974: Washita Battlefield NHS, Oklahoma City NM, Oklahoma State Capitol

Our first stop of the day was Washita Battlefield National Historic Site:

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This site interprets the surprise attack in which Cheyenne Chief Black Kettle and his band of Indians were killed.  Despite a previous unprovoked attack on his people at the Sand Creek massacre four years earlier which left over 100 Indians dead and his wife badly injured, Chief Black Kettle continued to sign treaties in an effort to peacefully coexist with the US government:

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We walked a nature trail adjacent to the visitor center:

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The kids completed their Junior Ranger workbooks and received their badges:

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We continued east to Oklahoma City, the capital of Oklahoma:

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We had lunch in the RV:

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We left the RV at the Capitol and drove over to the Oklahoma City National Memorial:

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It was at this site that in April of 1995, 168 Americans were killed in the Oklahoma City bombing.  The road in front of the building site was replaced with a reflecting pool, and building’s former location, to the left of the pool, is now the site of the memorial:

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The bomb destroyed the building at 9:01AM:

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The building site now contains 168 chairs, one for each victim.  They are placed in the approximate locations where the victims were found:

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Especially heartbreaking are the small chairs memorializing the 19 child victims, 15 of which were in the building’s day care center:

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Portions of the building’s rear wall remain:

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Rescue crews left their mark here:

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The rescue response began at 9:03AM:

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Adjacent to the memorial is the Oklahoma City Memorial Museum:

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The kids completed their Junior Ranger workbooks.  M tried to get out of doing the Junior Ranger pledge, complaining that they were outside in public.  The ranger asked M if he was too cool to do the pledge and he said yes.  The ranger told him to “suck it up”.  They did the pledge and received their badges:

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Returning to the RV, we walked through the underground tunnel that connects the parking lot to the capitol building:

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We visited the Oklahoma House of Representatives chamber:

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Ceiling detail:

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The Senate chamber:

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After leaving the Capitol, we continued east to overnight at the Walmart of Sallisaw, Oklahoma.  See the trip map for today’s drive and our current location.

Day 973: Lake Meredith NRA, Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument
Day 975: Fort Smith NHS, Crater of Diamonds SP

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