July 2, 2013

Melva Noakes: The bombing of America's Kids day-care center in Oklahoma City

To all of those who gave their time, compassion and support to the Oklahoma City Children's Memorial Garden project that runs along the playground at the Pound Ridge Community Church playschool, wanted to let you know that I heard from Melva Noakes, the founder-director of the America's Kids day-care center where 19 innocent babies perished one April morning.

Melva is writing a book and I promise to keep you in the loop when she comes to New York.

Pound Ridge Sculpture Honors Oklahoma Dead

Published: April 27, 1997

IF rocks could speak, the white alabaster in ''Unfinished Lives'' by the Pound Ridge sculptor Miles Slater might be saying to the dark granite that it enfolds: ''It's O.K. Let go of the pain.'' The sculpture was the focus of a commemorative ceremony at the Pound Ridge Town House last Saturday to remember the children who perished in the Oklahoma City bombing exactly two years before -- on April 19, 1995.

Melva Noakes, founder-director of the America's Kids day-care center in the Federal Building, flew here to attend the ceremony. Mr. Slater's ''Unfinished Lives'' seemed to mesmerize those who studied the hunk of granite in the sculpture, a piece of rubble from the razed building.

It all happened the way things sometimes do -- with synchronicity. A Pound Ridge resident, Bonni Kogen Brodnick, had kept the granite in her house for two years and never felt comfortable with it. It had been brought to Pound Ridge in June 1995 by Ms. Noakes to dedicate the Oklahoma City children's memorial garden, which runs along the playground of the play school at the Pound Ridge Community Church and is now blooming with daffodils. But Ms. Kogen Brodnick, who came up with the idea for the garden and enlisted a group of Pound Ridge mothers to help her plant it, said, ''The rock had energies that were reminiscent of an evil event.''  . . .

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