What a tragedy for our nation and all the victims. It’s one thing to hear about this on the news but yet another to be here in person and get a fuller grasp of the magnitude of this devastating event. Being here made me think of last year when we visited the 9-11 memorial – both were sobering as you moved through the memorials!
So, it was a usual morning on April 19, 1995 – everyone was going about their usual routines, the sun was shining and the birds were chirping as usual. Children were being dropped off at daycare by parents hurrying on to their jobs in nearby buildings. Timothy McVeigh parked the 20 foot U Haul truck filled with explosives in front of the Federal Building then ran to the get away car……..
One of the first exhibits was a recording of a hearing that was taking place across the street in the Records Building. You could almost hear the monotony in the attorneys voice as I’m certain her speech was routine to her – almost scripted. And then, at 9:02 a.m.,…..the explosion! Even though I knew it was coming, I still jumped in my seat. The reality was brought home in such a big way.
An American Elm miraculously survived the blast and still stands to this day. It is known as The Survivor Tree and overlooks the reflection pond.
A grassy yard is now where the Federal Building once stood. On the lawn are 168 bronze and glass empty “chairs” with the name of each victim etched into the glass. One notable hero that day was Rebecca Anderson, an LPN who came running to assist. She pulled two survivors from the rubble, then went back in for another. However, she sustained a head injury and stumbled back outside. Four days later, she passed away from her injuries. Her name is etched into one of those chairs on the lawn – a true hero!
Timothy McVeigh was pulled over about 80 miles north of Oklahoma City for a routine traffic stop by the highway patrol for a missing license plate. He had several weapons in his possession and was detained in the county jail. The FBI got wind of his arrest – he was sentenced to death as he requested and his accomplice, Terry Nichols, was sentenced to life in prison.
The Oklahoma City bombing killed 168 people, 19 of which were children, and hundreds more were injured.
A “JESUS WEPT” STATUE WATCHES OVER THE MEMORIAL SITE.