April 19, 2015

20 Years Later, We Remember

I thought I heard thunder.

I was 10 years old. I was spending the night at my cousin’s house, me and my sister. That morning, I woke up and thought I heard thunder.

It wasn’t thunder.

When we found out what had happened, my 10-year-old INTJ mind tried to grasp what I could. Why would someone blow up a building? But why a building full of regular people? Didn’t they know there were babies there? Why a building in Oklahoma? What did we do to anybody?

For weeks, a girl at my church carried with her the picture of her two baby cousins who were in the nursery. It was a long time before you saw a Ryder moving truck on the road again, and then only sporadically, and then only with new paint. Anyone buying fertilizer at the home improvement store got eyeballed. And for a while, going downtown was unsettling.

Of course, these are the memories of a 10-year-old. Maybe the world didn’t change so much. Certainly it wasn’t imprinted on the national psyche the way 9/11 was. But not only was America attacked on 9/11, New York City was. Oklahoma City understood that.

20 years later. This is still so much a part of who we are, of who I am. My city has grown and thrived in 20 years. It’s a beautiful, vibrant city on the national stage for things other than tragedy. But we don’t forget.

20 years ago, at 9:02 a.m., two men parked a moving truck in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown OKC and killed 168 people, injuring nearly 700 others. One of the men was Timothy McVeigh. They never caught John Doe #2. Terry Nichols helped McVeigh plan and prepare for the attack. Both were convicted, McVeigh was eventually executed.

20 years later, we remember. We always remember.

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Shelly D. Bland, 25, of Tuttle
Carrol June "Chip" Fields, 48, Guthrie
Rona Linn Kuehner-Chafey, 35, Oklahoma City
Carrie Ann Lenz, 26, Chotaw
Kenneth Glenn McCullough, 36, Edmond
Cynthia L. Brown, 26, Oklahoma City
Donald Ray Leonard, 50, Edmond
Mickey B. Maroney, 50, Oklahoma City
Linda G. McKinney, 47, Oklahoma City
Kathy Lynn Seidl, 39, Bethel
Alan G. Whicher, 40, Edmond
Ted L. Allen, 48, Norman
Peter R. Avillanoza, 56, Oklahoma City
David Neil Burkett, 47, Oklahoma City
Donald Earl Burns, Sr., 63, Oklahoma City
Kimberly Kay Clark, 39, Oklahoma City
Susan Jane Ferrell, 37, Oklahoma City
Dr. George Michael Howard, 45, Vallejo, Calif.
Antonio "Tony" C. Reyes, 55, Edmond
Lanny Lee David Scroggins, 46, Yukon
Leora Lee Sells, 57, Oklahoma City
Jules A. Valdez, 51, Edmond
David Jack Walker, 54, Edmond
Michael D. Weaver, 54, Edmond
Frances "Fran" Ann Williams, 48, Oklahoma City
Clarence Eugene Wilson, Sr. 49, Oklahoma
Diane E. (Hollingsworth) Althouse, 45, Edmond
Andrea Yvette Blanton, 33, Oklahoma City
Kim R. Cousins, 33, Midwest City
Diana Lynne Day, 38, Oklahoma City
Castine Brooks Hearn Deveroux, 49, Oklahoma City
Judy J. (Froh) Fisher, 45, Oklahoma City
Linda Louise Florence, 43, Oklahoma City
J. Colleen Guiles, 59, Oklahoma City
Thompson Eugene "Gene" Hodges, Jr., 54, Norman
Ann Kreymborg, 57, Oklahoma City
Teresa Lea Taylor Lauderdale, 41, Shawnee
Mary Leasure-Rentie, 39, Bethany
James A. McCarthy II, 53, Edmond
Betsy J. (Beebe) McGonnell, 47, Norman
Patricia Ann Nix, 47, Edmond
Terry Smith Rees, 41, Midwest City
John Thomas Stewart, 51, Oklahoma City
John Karl Van Ess III, 67, Chickasha
Jo Ann Whittenberg, 35, Oklahoma City
Sgt. Benjamin LaRanzo Davis, USMC, 29, Edmon
apt. Randolph A. Guzman, USMC, 28, Castro Valley, Calif.
Olen Burl Bloomer, 61, Moore
James E. Boles, 50, Oklahoma City
Dr. Margaret L. "Peggy" Clark, 42, Chickasha
Richard "Dick" Cummins, 55, Mustang
Doris "Adele" Higginbottom, 44, Oklahoma City
Carole Sue Khalil, 50, Oklahoma City
Rheta Bender Long, 60, Oklahoma City
Paul Gregory Beatty Broxterman, 42, Edmond
Paul D. Ice, 42, Midwest City
Claude Authur Medearis, S.S.A., 41, Norman
Lucio Aleman, Jr., 33, Oklahoma City
Mark Allen Bolte, 28, Oklahoma City
Michael Carrillo, 44, Oklahoma City
Larry James Jones, 46. Yukon
James K. Martin, 34, Oklahoma City
Ronota Ann Newberry-Woodbridge, 31, Edmond
Jerry Lee Parker, 45, Norman
Michelle A. Reeder, 33, Oklahoma City
Rick L. Tomlin, 46, Piedmont
Johnny Allen Wade, 42, Edmond
John A. Youngblood, 52, Yukon
Sgt. 1st Class Lola Bolden, U.S. Army, 40, Birmingham, Ala.
Karen Gist Carr, 32, Midwest City
Peggy Louise Holland, 37, Oklahoma City
John C. Moss III., 50, Oklahoma City
Victoria (Vickey) L. Sohn, 36, Moore
Dolores (Dee) Stratton, 51, Moore
Kayla Marie Titsworth, 35, Lawton
Wanda Lee Watkins, 49, Oklahoma City
Harley Richard Cottingham, 46, Oklahoma City
Peter L. DeMaster, 44, Oklahoma City
Norma "Jean" Johnson, 62, Oklahoma City
Larry L. Turner, 42, Oklahoma City
Robert G. Westberry, 57, Oklahoma City
Woodrow Clifford "Woody" Brady, 41, Oklahoma City
Kimberly Ruth Burgess, 29, Oklahoma City
Kathy A. Finley, 44, Yukon
Jamie (Fialkowski) Genzer, 32, Wellston
Sheila R. Gigger-Driver, 28, Oklahoma City
Linda Coleen Housley, 53, Oklahoma City
Robbin Ann Huff, 37, Bethany
Christi Yolanda Jenkins, 32, Edmond
Alvin J. Justes, 54, Oklahoma City
Valerie Jo Koelsch, 33, Oklahoma City
Kathy Cagle Leinen, 47, Oklahoma City
Claudette (Duke) Meek, 43, Oklahoma City
Frankie Ann Merrell, 23, Oklahoma City
Jill Diane Randolph, 27, Oklahoma City
Claudine Ritter, 48, Oklahoma City
Christy Rosas, 22, Moore
Sonja Lynn Sanders, 27, Moore
Karan Howell Shepherd, 27, Moore
Victoria Jeanette Texter, 37, Oklahoma City
Virginia M. Thompson, 56, El Reno
Tresia Jo "Mathes" Worton, 28, Oklahoma City
Baylee Almon, 1, Oklahoma City
Danielle Nicole Bell, 15 months, Oklahoma City
Zachary Taylor Chavez, 3, Oklahoma City
Dana LeAnne Cooper, 24, Moore
Anthony Christopher Cooper II, 2, Moore
Antonio Ansara Cooper Jr., 6 months, Midwest City
Aaron M. Coverdale, 5.50, Oklahoma City
Elijah S. Coverdale, 2.50, Oklahoma City
Jaci Rae Coyne, 14 months, Moore
Brenda Faye Daniels, 42, Oklahoma City
Taylor Santoi Eaves, 8 months, Midwest City
Tevin D'Aundrae Garrett, 16 months, Midwest City
Kevin "Lee" Gottshall II, 6 months, Norman
Wanda Lee Howell, 34, Spencer
Blake Ryan Kennedy, 1.50, Amber
Dominique Ravae (Johnson)-London, 2, Oklahoma City
Chase Dalton Smith, 3, Oklahoma City
Colton Wade Smith, 2, Oklahoma City
Scott D. Williams, 24, Tuttle
Teresa Antionette Alexander, 33, Oklahoma City
Richard A. Allen, 46, Oklahoma City
Pamela Cleveland Argo, 36, Oklahoma City
Saundra G. (Sandy) Avery, 34, Midwest City
Calvin Battle, 62, Oklahoma City
Peola Battle, 56, Oklahoma City
Oleta C. Biddy, 54, Tuttle
Casandra Kay Booker, 25, Oklahoma City
Carol Louise Bowers, 53, Yukon
Peachlyn Bradley, 3, Oklahoma City
Gabreon D.L. Bruce, 3 months, Oklahoma City
Katherine Louise Cregan, 60, Oklahoma City
Ashley Megan Eckles, 4, Guthrie
Don Fritzler, 64, Oklahoma City
Mary Anne Fritzler, 57, Oklahoma City
Laura Jane Garrison, 61, Oklahoma City
Margaret Betterton Goodson, 54, Oklahoma City
Ethel L. Griffin, 55, Edmond
Cheryl E. Hammon, 44, Oklahoma City
Ronald Vernon Harding, Sr., 55, Oklahoma City
Thomas Lynn Hawthorne, Sr., 52, Choctaw
Dr. Charles E. Hurlburt, 73, Oklahoma City
Jean Nutting Hurlburt, 67, Oklahoma City
Raymond "Lee" Johnson, 59, Oklahoma City
LaKesha Richardson Levy, 21, Midwest City
Aurelia Donna Luster, 43, Guthrie
Robert Lee Luster, Jr., 45, Guthrie
Rev. Gilbert X. Martinez, 35, Oklahoma City
Cartney J. McRaven, 19, Midwest City
Derwin W. Miller, 27, Oklahoma City
Eula Leigh Mitchell, 64, Oklahoma City
Emilio Tapia, 50, Oklahoma City
Charlotte Andrea Lewis Thomas, 43, Oklahoma City
Michael George Thompson, 47, Yukon
LaRue A. Treanor, 55, Guthrie
Luther H. Treanor, 61, Guthrie
Robert N. Walker, Jr., 52, Oklahoma City
Julie Marie Welch, 23, Oklahoma City
W. Stephen Williams, 42, Cashion
Sharon Louise Wood-Chesnut, 47, Oklahoma City
Steven Douglas Curry, 44, Norman
Michael L. Loudenslager, 48, Harrah
Rebecca Needham Anderson, 37, Midwest City
Anita Christine Hightower, 27, Oklahoma City
Kathryn Elizabeth Ridley, 24, Oklahoma City
Robert N. Chipman, 51, Edmond
Trudy Jean Rigney, 31, Midwest City

photo credit: Field of Empty Chairs, Oklahoma City National Memorial, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma via photopin (license)

7 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing. Praying for OKC and our nation today.

    As a 12-year-old, I remember watching the news and being so confused and heartbroken. The image of the firefighter carrying the poor, injured baby still haunts me. Years later when we visited the OKC memorial and museum on a weekend break from Cam's OBC training at Ft Sill, I had a very powerful reaction and the things I saw and learned still have an impact on me.

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  2. Such a beautiful post! I was only seven at the time, and though I'm not from Oklahoma City, I am from the Midwest (KCMO), and I remember my mom being SO shaken up about it. It was awful, and I can only imagine living in OKC. I have been there a few times, and it's absolutely gorgeous - I even chose to run my first marathon there a year ago - The Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon, and the names of all the victims were hung up on lampposts throughout the course. It was very humbling to see those names as I ran by and all of the people wearing shirts saying they were running for so and so who was killed on that awful day in 1995.

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  3. They really did a great job with that memorial. Hoping on our next visit home (whenever that is) we go again. It's been too long.

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  4. Oh wow, what an experience! I've never done the run (I don't run :p and everyone I knew building teams were too competitive to take a walker, haha) But maybe one day SoldierMan can do it.

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  5. What a beautiful post! I can hardly believe it has been 20 years.

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  6. twenty years. Wow. I remember it being on the news in the UK, but was only 8 so its hazy. I just remember my Mum being really really sad at humanity.

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  7. So incredibly heartbreaking! My mind can't even wrap around what motivates people to do things like this.

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