Oklahoma City Bombing 20 Years On

The Amtrak stations in Oklahoma City
A lion casts his gaze at the Oklahoma City zoo.
A gorilla sits at he OKC zoo
An exotic bird at the OKC zoo.
A lynx at the OKC zoo.
A Bobcat at the OKC Zoo
An automotive dealership in OKC
A Ryder truck on the streets of Oklahoma City
The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building
The Journal Record building in Oklahoma City
A building battered in the OKC bombing.
Flowers and mementos adorn a fence at the OKC memorial site.
OKC bombing memorial under construction.
Constructions at the OKC bombing memorial
A statue stands with eyes covered at the OKC bombing memorial.
A Church offers solace in Oklahoma City near the bombing site.
The Oklahoma City bombing memorial
A fountain at the OKC bombing memorial.
Is that Elton John?
The River walk in Oklahoma City
A water tower advertises the KATT is OKC.
Ready to depart OKC by Amtrak
A brdge as seen from Amtrak.
Welcome
Welcome
Lion
Lion
Gorilla
Gorilla
Flamingo - Saddle Billed Stork
<strike>Flamingo</strike> - Saddle Billed Stork
Lynx
Lynx
Bobcat
Bobcat
Benchmark
Benchmark
Ryder
Ryder
Murrah
Murrah
Record
Record
Escape
Escape
Memorial
Memorial
Entry
Entry
Joshua
Joshua
Angel
Angel
Sanctuary
Sanctuary
Wall
Wall
Fountain
Fountain
Duck
Duck
Waterfront
Waterfront
Katt
Katt
Amtrak
Amtrak
Bridge
Bridge
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I visited Oklahoma City in October of 1999 on a pilgrimage of sorts. Although I have already presented a slide show in a previous column about McVeigh and the bombing, I have added and recomposed the photos, which are now presented here.

Wow. Looking at the calendar, I cannot believe it has been 20 years since Timmy McVeigh loaded up his Ryder truck with fertilizer and kerosene, parked it next to the Alfred P. Murrah Federal building in downtown Oklahoma City, and then lit a match to it blowing away nearly half the building.

One hundred and sixty-eight people died in the blast including 19 children who were in a first floor daycare. Some reports indicate that 680 people were injured and, according to Wikipedia: “The blast destroyed or damaged 324 buildings within a 16-block radius, destroyed or burned 86 cars, and shattered glass in 258 nearby buildings, causing at least an estimated $652 million worth of damage.”

The bombing was, of course, a seminal event in American history. It somehow seems wrong to me that 911, as reprehensible as it was, should have so completely over-shadowed the Oklahoma City bombing. I guess every generation has that once in a lifetime event when everybody says: “I will always remember where I was and what I was doing when…” I’m not old enough to say that about when JFK was assassinated, but I sure will remember the OKC bombing that way forever. The fact that it’s been twenty years is really peculiar, because by the time I was ten or fifteen years old, everybody knew everything about JFK, and yet it wasn’t quite real because I was so young when it happened – and at that time, it hadn’t even been 20 years. But, the OKC bombing, and then 911 are so real, and will always be remembered – more than 20 years later.

Prior to his execution on June 11, 2001, when asked if he really intended to kill innocent children, McVeigh timidly replied, “you mean there were children in there?” McVeigh, an ardent pro-life supporter, was satirizing the event as an abortion metaphor.


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© 2015 – Jim Casey
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