April 22, 2007
By Ken Krayeske • 11:00 AM EST
Written on the t-Shirt, stuck into the chain link fence surrounding the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building site in Oklahoma City, July, 1997: "Chase Smith had a shirt just like this one. One day at the day care center, where I was his teacher "93" - he said "Miss Terry, we are dressed alike!" We both were wearing dark lime shirts, black pants and black tennis shoes. I haven't been able to wear this shirt or known what to do with it until today at 2 p.m. I knew it belongs here with all the memories and feeling of EVERYONE. June 2, 1997."
This was one of those weeks which may be bound by the weight of human history to just be rotten. These past seven days represent the collective anniversaries of Hitler's birthday, the shootings at Columbine (1999), the massacre at Waco (1993), the response at Oklahoma City (1995), and now, the shooting spree at Virginia Tech.
That's a lot of bodies, and I haven't even talked about the deadliest week in Iraq in a long time. They had like 20 Virginia Tech's since last Sunday. It's all so numbing.
Perhaps its just the media cycle that makes this week seem more brutal than any other of the 52. But now we have another reason to dread its passage.
What is it about these last seven days as part of the annual cycle that lend themselves to this bleeding piece of earth? Anthony in Shakespeare's Julius Caeser bids us that we should not be "meek and gentle with these butchers!"
This week, I found myself thinking about the dead, from a moment in Oklahoma City I had in the summer of 1997. My dad and sister and I drove cross country, back to Connecticut from San Francisco, and we had an opportunity to visit the spot of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.