It was the day our state was rocked to its very core, the day our sense of security was shaken and the day we collectively asked “Why?”
At 9:02am on April 19, 1995, the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City exploded as a result of the most destructive act of terrorism American had ever known at that time. The bomb killed 168 people, including 19 children. More than 680 people were injured, 324 buildings within a sixteen-block radius were damaged, 86 cars were destroyed, and the explosion shattered glass in 258 buildings close by. In addition to the deaths, building destruction and damage to property, people all over the state were, in an instant, knocked from the reverie of their normal day-to-day goings on and we all watched in horror as the event unfolded before our eyes.
As a lifelong Oklahoman, I take great pride in my state, but the outpouring for the victims, survivors and rescue workers that occurred following the bombing still makes my heart swell. We took care of our own then. I'd like to think we still do.
On that day 15 years ago, I was babysitting two toddlers just like I did every weekday. I had just finished cleaning the kitchen after breakfast while the kids had played in the living room. I flipped the TV over from Mr. Roger's Neighborhood to Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee and sat down to enjoy my usual morning dose of snark and banter. Not too long into the show, however, ABC News broke in with report that a bomb had gone off in Oklahoma City. I remember how my reaction went from annoyance that they broke in on my show to shock and horror in mere seconds. My mom was working at the college at the time. I called her to give her all the information I had. Soon after that my father called. Then my husband. Then friends. The elderly neighbor lady came over to see if I knew. I invited her in and we each sat holding a child, silently crying as we watched.
A few years ago my sister and I took my papa and great-uncle to their school reunion in Edmond and the men decided they wanted to see the OKC Memorial before we headed back home. Of course, Uncle Homer being somewhat uhm...let's just say frugal, didn't want to pay the admission price to the museum (and grumbled about it the rest of the afternoon). I hear the museum is incredibly sad. The memorial itself, however, is beautiful and awe-inspiring and very, very quiet. I was shocked at how in the midst of city noises, traffic and people an area can be so serene and still. I shed my share of tears standing there, remembering the emotions I felt following the bombing – fear, sadness, anger and confusion, followed soon by hope, faith and pride.
15 years ago the national press and people who weren't familiar with Oklahoma doubted we could handle such a devastating crisis. Our sense of security was somewhat dented and bruised, and yes, we were wounded, but still I have an overwhelming sense of pride in how the people of Oklahoma responded. We came together as a state and we will never forget. Any of it.
Where were you on April 19, 1995?
1. Answer the question on your blog
(or in the comments sections if you haven't a blog).
2. If you answer the question on your blog,
add your name to MckLinky so that we all can discover
the brilliance that is your mind.
3. Grab our button from the sidebar and
post it either in your reply post or on your blog.