By in Breaking News

Remembering the horror, 20 Years After the Oklahoma City Bombing

It was 20 years ago this weekend (Sunday, to be exact) that my world was rocked to its very foundation and changed for ever. At exactly 9:02 am on April 19th, 1995 an evil like no other was unleash on 168 unsuspecting people in downtown Oklahoma City and it also changed the lives of an entire city and state. It is one of those moments that I will never forget as long as I live and still remember where I was and what I was doing, like it was yesterday.

Timothy McVeigh, for whatever reason decided to load a Ryder rental truck with barrels full of a ammonium nitrate fertilizer and fuel (racing fuel is what is believed to be what he used) mixture. During the months of investigation that followed it was discovered that McVeigh and a number of accomplices made several trips to Oklahoma City to scout out the best possible location for parking the truck.

So, on that fateful spring morning here in Oklahoma, my day began like so many others after moving here just a couple years earlier. I was sitting in the building with several co-workers in the front area of the building and then it happened. We all heard a huge boom that rocked both of our overhead doors in the back of the building. None of knew what happened, but my first thought was one of our big air compressors blew up.

A couple of us walked back to the warehouse/repair area and found nothing amiss inside. Then we decided to go outside and see if something hit the building and saw nothing that could explain it at first. That is until we all looked to east and saw a large plume of smoke rising above the skyline of downtown Oklahoma City. Our office was located in an industrial park just south of Interstate 40 and 7 miles west of downtown OKC. The 1-40 crosstown as it is commonly called here in Oklahoma, cuts right through the heart of Oklahoma City, adjacent to downtown.

Shortly after that someone from another part of the building came running in telling us of an explosion downtown. The first news reports said it was thought to be a natural gas explosion. While it is highly likely it could have been, but nothing prepared any of us for what we all found out to be the eventual cause of the explosion and where it happened. What followed in the minutes, hours, days, months and now years after 9:02 am on April 19th, 1995 will be forever burned into my mind.

I can remember vividly the news accounts of the carnage caused by the massive bomb, it ripped through nine floors of the Murrah Federal Building and left only a shell. I know the explosion would have had to be enormously powerful to cause that much damage. I remember thinking in the days after the bombing and seeing the images of the damage thinking that I cannot believe it happened. I was inside the building earlier in the year visiting the Social Security Office that was located inside and I was in awe of the granite that lined the inside and thinking how safe it would be to work inside this building.

That was all shattered in an instant just several months after on that day and not a single day goes by that I am not reminded about it.

If you are old enough to remember back then, what do you remember about it?

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JohnRoberts wrote on April 18, 2015, 12:19 PM

It seems like the bombing was more than 20 years ago. I think the most shocking aspect of the incident is that it happened in OKC. America's heartland. A quiet city that flies under the radar rarely making the national news. In other words, safe. New York or LA are natural targets. 9/11 was exactly that kind of statement. But OKC? That's why it was scarier than 9/11. It proved you can't really feel safe anywhere.

Soonerdad3 wrote on April 18, 2015, 12:35 PM

You are exactly right and especially now with the influence of ISIS spreading all over the world and even here in the U.S., this kind of horrific incident could happen anywhere in America. No one is truly safe anymore and I put this blame solely at the feet of Barrack Hussein Obama for being in a rush to pull our troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan in order to fulfill campaign promises he made in order to remain in power.

wolfgirl569 wrote on April 18, 2015, 1:12 PM

I remember hearing abut it on the news after it happened. Just shows that anything can be used to kill if some one really wants too

Soonerdad3 wrote on April 18, 2015, 2:28 PM

Yes and it opened up a whole new avenue to home grown terrorism using the materials McVeigh used in the bomb.

cmoneyspinner wrote on April 18, 2015, 3:12 PM

The most significant thing was the report that the building had a daycare center and innocent children were dead. Did not follow up but if they were not, the perpetrators should be executed. I'm not debating this. No mercy. Who McVeigh think he is? He think he the only person that got screwed over?? What is everybody supposed to do when they're "dissatisfied"? BLOW STUFF UP AND KILL PEOPLE???!

Soonerdad3 wrote on April 18, 2015, 4:40 PM

Yes, Timothy McVeigh was already, tried, convicted and executed for the bombing and Terry Nichols was imprisoned for his role in the planning and carrying out of the plot. Exactly, there has been numerous theories as too why McVeigh decided to do what he did, but since he never offered a shred of explanation, we just won't ever know for sure.

Soonerdad3 wrote on April 18, 2015, 4:56 PM

Having never been in the World Trade Center I cannot speak of that and I am not comparing the two if that is what you are saying. I am only trying to relate my experiences of living through the OKC bombing.

Soonerdad3 wrote on April 18, 2015, 4:58 PM

I can understand why the two tragedies would be so different with you living in such close proximity to NYC on 9/11.

JohnRoberts wrote on April 18, 2015, 5:03 PM

I am stating the OKC bombing was symbolically scarier than 9/11 though the actual death and destruction in NYC was far greater and disturbing. America's Heartland conjures an image of feeling safe and far away from the threats of the outside world whereas NYC will always be a natural target like London or Paris.

JohnRoberts wrote on April 18, 2015, 5:11 PM

No place. And not just from nutjob bombers or terrorists. Street crime is everywhere and the incidents of cops shooting people have come in small cities.

Soonerdad3 wrote on April 18, 2015, 6:29 PM

That makes plenty of sense to me.

Soonerdad3 wrote on April 18, 2015, 6:31 PM

Oh, sorry I assumed you were responding to me.

cmoneyspinner wrote on April 18, 2015, 7:17 PM

Yes. I thought he was executed and the other guy was just sent to prison. I don't really like to remember it because of the children. The other guy should have been executed too. He's just as guilty. With regards to McVeigh - I don't give a crap what "explanation" he would have given. In my mind, it would not have explained anything at all. Anyway he can talk to his Creator about it now. See if he can persuade the Master his act was justified. The people on earth are no longer concerned with him!

seren3 wrote on April 18, 2015, 8:43 PM

I do remember it. Horrific. And years later the first XFiles film opened with a similar scenario. In a weird way that was a tribute to that life-changing day.

Soonerdad3 wrote on April 19, 2015, 6:10 PM

I do as well, though it has been so long since it happened, we are never completely free of this kind of madness.

jiangliu1949 wrote on April 21, 2015, 4:19 AM

It was really a nightmare !Terrorists are enemies of people from all over the world .My thought goes out to those innocent people were killed then .