Monday, April 18, 2005

Oklahoma 2005, Part II

(Read the preceding entry first for chronology's sake!!)
¶ . . . Sunday was to turn out to be a much better outing. I stopped first at Stockyard City in downtown OKC. It was kind of neat for the clothing stores there. Then I went over to the Oklahoma City Memorial.
The Memorial here is very touching and very well done. What struck me most deeply was at the west side adjacent to the Catholic Church was a large statue of Jesus Christ, facing away from the building site with his face in his hands, as if to be crying in shame and despair. I failed to get a picture of this, but I will next time.

Next I visited Bricktown, also downtown; pretty much just a cental watering hole area. Didn't stay here to long.
Next was the real highlight of the whole weekend. Over to the 45th Infantry Division Museum. I spent about three hours here. It is free to go in, they ask only for a donation, but it isn't pushed. Give 'em a couple of bucks: it's definitely worth it. Lots of vehicles on the surrounding grounds, World War II to post-Viet Nam, including trucks, artillery, armor, and aircraft. The small appearance of size of the building from the outside belies the amount of treasures within!! Mostly militaria from World War I through Gulf War I. There is a great tribute to Bill Mauldin, caricaturist of the WWII Dogfaces and a display of a few hundred of his cartoons. Very well done.
The real highlight here however is the museum's weapon collection. Donated by a private citizen it is one of the best I have ever seen. Though relatively small in size, I believe it rivals that of the extremely large collections of the J.M. Davis Arms & Historical Museum, Claremore, OK, and the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Cody, WY. Weapons include pieces from the Colonial Period through Gulf War I, with a good array of WWII and Korea-era battlefield weapons, mortars, recoilless rifles, etc. Any history buff traveling through Oklahoma City should make it a point to reserve time to visit this property, absolutely a true gem!!

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