Today was primarily a driving day, but we planned to see the Oklahoma City sights in the afternoon so we left early from Branson. We arrived in OKC at about 2 PM and went first to the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Museum. It is a delightful celebration of the West, with exhibits such as the Western Performers Gallery, which features cowboys from the Silver Screen and from TV.
A large part of the museum displays Western Art, including several huge, three-panel paintings done by William Hurley. There are also some fantastic sculptures, in particular a glorious piece entitled “End of the Trail,” by James Earle Fraser.
Fraser also did a beautiful sculpture of Abraham Lincoln, one of only a few of the president without a beard.
We took one more picture as we left the museum.
The other must-see in Oklahoma City is the National Oklahoma City Memorial which commemorates the detonation of the Murray Federal Building in 1995, an tragic event which killed 168 unsuspecting citizens of the city. The Memorial is very moving and tastefully appointed as well as symbolic. The major part of the memorial is the Field of Empty Chairs, one for each of the victims.
Other sections include the Rescuer’s Orchard, dedicated to the emergency responders and civilians who assisted the victims.
There are two gates, at opposite ends of the Memorial, one which is marked 9:01 and the other is marked 9:03; they represent the times during which the destruction and carnage took place.