Today was a field trip day for me! I had Very Important Shopping to do, namely I had to buy more yarn. Yeah, go ahead and laugh. I've been looking for some yarn for a Christmas gift for a certain friend, and was having a very difficult time finding it for some reason. It's not like it's rare yarn. It's not made out of Cher's belly button lint or anything. Anyway, I had looked in Tulsa and didn't find it, and now had to go to the nearest Hobby Lobby (here which also didn't have it). Fortunately the Joann's there did. Whew! Mission accomplished.
Where is the nearest Hobby Lobby to the thriving metropolis of Fairfield, TX? Why, it's SIXTY MILES away, in the city of Waco!
We've all heard of Waco, of course, because of the Branch Davidians and David Koresh. Can you believe that happened in 1993? Wow. That was a long time ago!
Anyway, I figured that since (1) I was going to Waco anyway, and (2) I have TWO degrees in religious studies, and (3) we studied the Branch Davidians in depth in grad school, I should try to find the compound. So I googled it, got directions, and lo and behold, I found it!
I pulled into the gates and started taking pictures of the memorial stones out front. They have one that shows the names of everyone who died (particularly interesting here - you can see David Koresh's name as well as Aborted Fetus Gent, which is a child that was in utero when the fire destroyed the compound).
They also had individual stones for many of the 82 people who died that day. Many of these show the person's age, and the small children shown here are really tragic.
At this point, a lady walked up to me and started talking to me about the compound, where the rest of the ruins are, and their new church. She was very polite and didn't mind that I wanted to take photos or talk to her about what happened.
Here are a few pictures of what's left of the bunker:
(Note the large turtle sitting on the plank in the middle):
They also had a school bus buried underground (not quite sure why) but this is all that remains of that:
The rest of the compound has been leveled, but you can still make out the foundations of what used to be there. This is where the 3 story tower was, which was on a lot of the tv footage:
They've built a new church on the site of the old chapel:
They obviously are used to visitors, and had a brochure describing what happened, as well as a map of the ruins. I was surprised to see their take on David Koresh:
"Many wanted to blame the government for killing these people, and others want to blame Koresh for hiding behind his congregation and the children, but the truth of the matter is that they were both at fault. Very simply, both sides played God. Not only did David Koresh claim to sit in the seat of God, but in the way the government acted they too acted as if they were God as well...In Ezekiel 28, the Lord says to this man: "Because thou hast said 'I have the mind of God, I sit in the seat of God and I am God,' I the Lord will send strangers, the terrible of the nations to bring you down with the sword...we will see how much of a God you are in the hands of those that slay you; you are not a God, you are just a man."
Their brochure finishes by saying: "All must agree, Koresh received the judgment of God...The Waco War was a fulfillment of this prophecy to the BDSDA Church."
Frankly, I found it fascinating that the survivors (and those who disagreed with Koresh at the time all of this happened) are apparently now trying to focus attention away from David Koresh and his splinter group.
Anyway, it was a very interesting visit and I'm glad I took the time to find it. I only wish Noel could've gone with me (night shift sucks!).
On a lighter note (oh wait...nevermind) I found another interesting site on the way back home:
Yes, a pet cemetery. A real one.
It was actually quite touching to see how these beloved pets were memorialized. They had nicer stones than a lot of people cemeteries I've seen (guess that tells you something about how much people love their pets, but their relatives?....)
Some had stones with photos on them, and this one also had a little dog house and flowers:
Some had images carved into the stones (fancy!):
At first I thought this was real, but then wasn't sure if this was just a memorial (I'm still not sure, but frankly it's clever if it is a memorial! A cemetery with facilities!):
It was very sweet, to see how much these people loved their companion animals. :)
Anyway, now that I have all this yarn, I'd better get to work! Only....41 days til Christmas! OMG!! I'd better get busy!!!!!!