The Oklahoma City Bombing


When you think of terrorist attacks in the United States, I bet the first thing that comes to your mind is the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City. We all think of this horrific event in our history and mourn the loss of the people in the attack. Most people that were alive to experience this tragedy elaborate on their own experience; where they were, what they were doing, and the time when they found out. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the only terrorist attack the United States has experienced. Two short years later on April 19th, 1995 at 9:02 am The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma was bombed in a terrorist attack.

An ex-Army soldier and security guard by the name of Timothy McVeigh was the man who set off the bomb. His motive was pure hatred for the government and incidents in Waco two years prior. He had planned a getaway and left his rental car with the bomb that exploded precisely at 9:02 am. His actions caused 168 deaths including 19 children and injured over 680 people.

I had the privilege of being able to visit the memorial site earlier this week. It was a very sad and humbling experience. When entering the memorial park there were two monuments. One of these monuments was marked with 9:01. This represents the innocence of the building and the people inside. The other memorial was marked with 9:03. This second monument symbolizes the loss and destruction of the people inside. Between the two monuments is a shallow pool of water that stretches between; it is there to help sympathize with the families of those that were lost inside. Along with that, there are monumental chairs that represent all 168 losses. Each chair is in the place where they were in the building. The rows of the chairs represent the level of the building they were within.

Before the memorial was built there was a tall chain link fence surrounding the scene. People from all over came to the fence and hung keepsakes, notes, wreaths, and flowers to remember the people and offer peace and remembrance to the families. While being there this week, I got to see a small portion of the remaining fence that had many keepsake items all over it. I stopped to read a note that had been left and it caught my attention because it was a newer, white, and clean piece of paper. I read the note and it elaborated on a family’s life with the loss of their mother after the bombing. The husband wrote pieces about how proud he was of his kids and how she would be so happy for them. The kids also wrote small notes on this paper and it made me think more in-depth about how all 168 losses had so much impact and affect. I can’t even imagine how these families were able to move on and keep living.

While I was not alive for this horrific event I will always remember walking through this memorial, reading the names on the chairs, touching the wall that was left behind from the bomb, and experiencing that depth of sadness from the fence and the notes.