I would have gone to the memorial on May 31st if it hadn’t been a chase day in New Mexico… But I did make a pilgrimage there on my way home from the Plains on Saturday, June 3rd.
My son and I said a prayer for Tim, Paul and Carl, for their families, and for the safety of all chasers. I found myself with tears in my eyes, despite not knowing them personally (something that seems to happen more often as I get older
). I did not chase the day of the El Reno event, but it was eerie to stand there on a beautiful day and think about the violent chaos unleashed that day 10 years ago… To feel the gentle breezes and think about how, on certain days, those same elements of the atmosphere can come together to produce a two-mile-wide monster tornado. My son is new to chasing, and was only 10 when this tragedy occurred, so I showed him one of Dan Robinson’s videos, right there in our vehicle parked next to the memorial, to give him an appreciation for the setting there on that grid of dirt roads and open fields that on most days would be perfect for chasing.
Too bad there couldn’t have been something organized that day - it would have been a good opportunity to unite and educate chasers of all different stripes and experience levels.
Below are a couple of pictures of the memorial - I love how people left the McDonalds cheeseburgers. i wore my t-shirt from the 2014 Chaser Conference while chasing on May 31, and asked my son to snap a picture of me observing a storm from near Milnesand NM.