Anniversary and Ascension

Today is the 10th anniversary of the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, and it has been the center of focus in the news outlets… until this afternoon.

Ten years ago, I was in Chattanooga, working in a bit of a sweatshop, and planning a career move to somewhere other than Chattanooga, when what was then the biggest terrorist attack on US soil took place. As with the rest of the country, we were shocked, hurt, and devastated.

A year ago, Becky and I visited the memorial in Oklahoma City, and it was a sobering experience. It was cold, quiet, and there was such a sense of …. occurrence. You could almost feel the thickness of the event in the air as we were surrounded by the remnants and sober reminders of that horrible day. For those folks most closely affected by the incidents of that day, I’m sure today was a painful reminder of those they lost.

That news was only eclipsed by the election of Pope Benedict XVI on the fourth ballot. The news seemed to travel quickly, and almost as quick, the concerns about him began to be voiced. As I understand it, he’s very conservative, and will probably keep the Catholic church on pretty much the same path. I also heard some news report that he had briefly been part of a Nazi-related group when he was in his youth.

No matter, there’s a new leader in town, and it’ll be fun to see what he’ll be up to.

But, why someone so old? I mean age isn’t a determining factor, but one of the appeals of John Paul II was that he really reached out to young folks and was soooo accessible by them. I’m not convinced that Benedict XVI (man that’s hard to say!) will have that same charisma and ability to reach out and grab the inspiration of the young.