Thursday, April 19, 2012

Seventeen Years Ago Today

At 9:02 a.m. on April 19, 1995, a 5,000-pound bomb, hidden inside a Ryder truck, exploded just outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. The explosion caused massive damage to the building and killed 168 people, 19 of whom were children. Those responsible for what became known as the Oklahoma City Bombing were home-grown terrorists, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols. This deadly bombing was the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil until the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center attack.

In 20 minutes it will be the 17th anniversary of that horrible event.  Every year we stop and remember what we were doing at that exact moment.  I was here at work only we were still in our old hospital.  I walked through the patient waiting area in time to see news footage of the Alfred P. Murrah building after the explosion.  My first thought was of some foreign attack never for a second thinking that it was one of our own responsible for this horror.

It was only seconds before more co-workers joined in watching the the news as it came available.  Some people had loved ones working in or near the building and they were immediately trying to contact them by phone.   It wasn't until two days later that I learned of our neighbor's death.  He worked for Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and was in the office at the time of the blast.  His daughter was a classmate of my girls and she had already lost her young husband in Dessert Storm.

So, at 9:02 this morning all of Oklahoma will stop for a moment and remember.  We will honor the lives of those lost and we will once again feel the pride of how we came together during those days following the bombing.  We will feel pride in the way we set an example for the rest of the world to follow.  Our experience that day helped prepare for us for the unimaginable that followed on 9/11.


Arkansas Patti said...

It doesn't seem possible that it has been 17 years. It still seems relatively recent in my mind. I guess horror never really goes away.

Muffy's Marks said...

And pray it never happens again.