For some reason, many bad things have happened in the month of April. A few examples: President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated on April 15, 1865. The Titanic sank on April 15, 1912, claiming 1,500 lives. The Columbine School Shooting happened on April 20, 1999. Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King was shot and killed in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4, 1968. The terrorist attack on the Boston Marathon also occurred in April.
An event that was personally significant to me was the Oklahoma City Bombing that occurred on April 19, 1995. The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was destroyed when an explosive-filled truck driven by Timothy McVeigh was detonated. The explosion resulted in the deaths of 168 people including many children who were in day care inside the building. There was also a Social Security office in the building.
At the time, I worked at the Social Security Administration in Flint. A former co-worker was in the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building at the time of the explosion. The day was just beginning for her. She was standing in the office talking to two co-workers when it happened. She woke up surrounded in rubble. She survived, but the two people she had been talking to did not. The event had a very powerful effect on my daughter, who was about 11 years old at the time. She thought if that could happen to a Social Security office in Oklahoma, it could happen at any Social Security office. She would call me every morning at the time of the explosion for many days after, just making sure I was okay.
There are some good things about April that I prefer to focus on, especially this year, for procrastinators like me. People have three extra days to file their federal tax returns – the deadline is April 18. According to Liberty Tax Service, you can thank Washington, D.C., for the gift. Washington D.C. will celebrate Emancipation Day on April 15, which is typically celebrated on April 16. It’s the day President Abraham Lincoln signed into law a bill ending slavery. April 16 falls on a Saturday this year, so Emancipation Day will be celebrated on April 15 and Tax Day will be pushed back to April 18!
We also celebrate our beautiful planet earth on Earth Day, which is Friday, April 22. I am especially looking forward to the Flint Cultural Center’s first-ever, three-day celebration of Earth Day. Activities are planned at Flint Institute of Arts, Applewood Estate, Flint Public Library, Flint School of Performing Arts, Flint Youth Theatre, Longway Planetarium and Sloan Museum (see p. 64 for details).
What else is good about the month of April? Well, it’s National Kite Month! According to the website NationalKiteMonth.org, April was chosen because it is the month that perfectly symbolizes hope, potential and joy. As the first month in spring, it is also the last month we see snow and are eager to get outside and get active. And you never know what to expect in Michigan, as far as the weather is concerned. Sometimes it is warm and sunny. Sometimes it’s cold and snowy. It can be rainy – but as the old saying goes, “April showers bring May flowers,” and spring is in the air. That’s good enough for me. So, I know what I’m going to do … get outside, enjoy the fresh spring air, celebrate April – and fly a kite!