Oklahoma City Marks 20th Anniversary of Bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building at Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum
It is hard to believe it has been 20 years, April 19, 1995 …
The Oklahoma City bombing was a domestic terror attack on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995. Timothy McVeigh detonated an explosive-filled truck that he had parked in front of the Federal Building as McVeigh’s co-conspirator, Terry Nichols, had assisted in the bomb preparation. The Oklahoma bomb blast claimed 168 lives, including 19 children under the age of 6, and injured more than 680 people. It was the greatest and most destructive act of terrorism in the United States until September 11, 2011. McVeigh was executed by lethal injection in 2001. Nichols was convicted in 1997 of conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction and eight counts of involuntary manslaughter for killing federal law enforcement personnel. He was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole because the jury deadlocked on the death penalty.
Oklahomans and others gathered Sunday at the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum for the 20th anniversary Remembrance Ceremony in honor of those who died as a result of the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.
Emotions overwhelmed Helena Garrett as she stood at a lectern near the reflecting pool at the Oklahoma City National Memorial and struggled to say her son’s name.
“My baby,” she said and paused, bowing her head and grasping the side of the podium when the emotions were too much, before continuing.
“Tevin D’Aundrae Garrett.”
Bound by a common loss, sons, daughters, parents, brothers, sisters and others, read the names Sunday of the 168 people who died as a result of the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building during a 20th anniversary Remembrance Ceremony.
Hundreds of people gathered where the building once stood, and many more watched from home, to honor those who died in one of the largest acts of domestic terrorism in the nation’s history. As they remembered, they also celebrated the city’s resiliency and response in the face of what was described as unspeakable horror.
In the minutes after the attack, the people of Oklahoma City did something that others watching from afar found hard to fathom, FBI Director James Comey said.
“You ran towards darkness,” he said. “You ran towards pain. You ran towards anger and destruction. You ran because these were your friends. You ran because they were your neighbors and your teammates and members of your congregation. You ran because that is what Oklahomans do for their family, and on this day, those people were family.”