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shane453

April 19, 1995 - The Oklahoma City Bombing

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April 19, 2006 is the 11th anniversary of the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City. A rented Ryder truck with 5,000 lb of explosive fertilizer exploded at 9:02 AM, leaving an 8 ft crater in the street and killing 168 people and injuring over 800. It remains the largest act of domestic terrorism on The bomb was felt as far as 30 miles away (including in my house, about 20 miles from downtown.) 300 buildings in the downtown area were damaged or destroyed with Midtown being the hardest hit area.

A map of the area with damaged buildings shown

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The effects of the bomb covered a wide area, showing that a simple bomb detonated in an urban core can be very damaging, even if it is on the outskirts of the core. Culturally, however, this disaster brought the people of Oklahoma City together and gave us a situation in which we could show the world our strength and compassion.

The site today

"We come here to remember those who were killed, those who survived, and those changed forever. May all who leave here know the impact of violence. May this memorial offer comfort, strength, peace, hope, and serenity."

The Oklahoma City National Memorial is a beautiful campus on the site of the Federal Building. The words etched into stone there are very impacting, and I think a trip to the Memorial is very meaningful to all who visit, no matter how many times they do so. Next door, the badly damaged Journal Records Building has been converted into a museum dedicated to the OKC bombing and terrorism awareness. Next year the Memorial will host the Inernational Congress for Victims of Terrorism, the first time the event will take place in North America.

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A message scrawled on the south wall of the Journal Records Building on 4/19/95.

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The Survivor Tree is an American Elm that miraculously withstood the force of the blast. It has become a true symbol for the tragedy, the people of Oklahoma City and for the defiance of terrorism. Saplings are nurtured and carfully grown from the tree and donated to schools, etc. The inscription around it reads:

"The spirit of this city and this nation will not be defeated; our deeply rooted faith sustains us.

To the courageous and caring who responded from near and far, we offer our eternal gratitude."

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Moving On

The new Federal Building in OKC is one of the most bomb resistant facilities in the world, but also exhibits beautiful architecture.

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I remember this event like it was yesterday. I saved my local newspaper from the day after the bombing and still have it in my storage bin. I also wrote a really good term paper in high school, but I can't remember what happened to it. The teacher may have kept it.

Through all my research, I will never forget the name of the little baby being carried away by the fireman. Her name was Bailey Alman.

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I really like that new federal building, especially for a low rise.

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A sad, sad day in American history for sure, but also a blessing in disguise. Out of this tragedy came many positives, including much new knowledge for the CIA in fighting terrorism, both domestic and international.

Great photos, by the way.

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That day, I had an eye doctor appointment and got out of school early for it. My mother told me on the way there that a car bomb had gone off in front of Oklahoma City's federal building. And I thought a little car bomb and maybe it went off in a parking lot or something. While in the waiting room at the doctors, I got to see the images on tv and saw how much worse it was. But since it had happened earlier in the day they were showing taped footage. I heard the first feeds were probably too horrific for me to watch. I kept up with the news on it for weeks after. I read the magazines in school, and I was worried for my mother who works in Richmond's federal building which got several threats after this. It really put a damper on the rest of the year for me and my heart ached for the families who lost loved ones. I know I'll never forget that day.

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What a tragedy. I can't say I remember when it happened considering I was 6 years old at the time but I have read a good deal on Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols.

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The period around the bombing is one of my clearest memories from when I was very young. I was in kindergarten, and I can remember watching TV and praying for them to find survivors, especially my best friend's mother who was a family friend. My parents made me stop watching TV. My friends, who were also very young, can remember exactly what they were doing at the moment they felt or heard the blast. It was a phenomenon in the metro after the event for people, especially children, considering the 19 children killed, to experience post-traumatic stress and depression. It is strange for me to look back and realize the deep emotions and thoughts that I had at such a young age.

Two of my friends went to kindergarten in The Village about 6 miles north of downtown at the time; their class was standing for the Pledge of Allegiance when the blast occurred and knocked all of them to the ground. How much symbolism is loaded into that situation?

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