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Monday, April 11, 2016

Paying Our Respects at the Oklahoma City National Memorial

Eric & I see memorials on
a chain link fence along

9:01 am April 19, 1995
An average day in OK City

At 9:02 am on Wednesday, April 19, 1995, the morning rhythms of Oklahoma City were shattered by a huge explosion at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.  People working and visiting in the Murrah Building, who could walk, made their way to the exits, helping as many as they could as they evacuated the building.  Firefighters, paramedics and police rushed to the scene to find about one third of the office building was rubble.  They started searching for the injured, treating them and moving them to ambulances.  The search included recovering those who died in the blast.  After the entire building was searched it was revealed that over 500 people had been injured in the explosion...

 ...168 people died, including 19 children

Each chair represents one of
the people who died in the 
Murrah Federal Building on 
April 19, 1995. 

 Each victim's name etched in the base of each chair.

The smaller chairs in the second
row represent each child who
died in the explosion on
April 19, 1995.

It's very quiet here.  Visitors speak in whispers in this solemn place.

I realize that this memorial
 was built within the original
 walls of the Murrah Building.

The hundreds of names of
people that were injured on
that fateful morning.

9:03 am: Oklahoma City
begins the healing

The explosion at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was not an accident.  A natural gas line did not rupture.  Former Army soldier and anti-government activist, Timothy McVeigh, with the help of Terry Nichols, loaded a Ryder Rental Truck full of explosives and parked it in front of the building.  He locked the truck, walked to the nearby getaway car and detonated the explosion from a distance. 

McVeigh and Nichols committed the deadliest act of domestic terrorism on US soil at the Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995.  McVeigh was executed for his crime on June 11, 2001.  Nichols is serving a life sentence.

Oklahoma City cleaned up the debris from the bombing.  The community came together to support the victims and to rebuild.   Oklahoma City and America do not forget.

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