Monday, April 19, 2010

Oklahoma City Bombing - 15 Years Later

It was 15 years ago today that the Alfred Murrah building in Oklahoma City was bombed by Timothy McVeigh in an active of domestic terrorism. And I have a connection, though a small connection, to that day.

Named after a Federal judge the Alfred Murrah building housed offices for the Social Security Administration, ATF, DEA, and recruitment offices for the Army and Marine Corps. What Timothy McVeigh claims to not have known was that the building also housed a daycare center. Of the 168 people killed in the bombing 19 were children.

Timothy McVeigh was executed for his actions and co-conspirator Terry Nichols is serving 161 life sentences for 160 deaths one of which was a fetal death.

I was off of work on the day it happened. I went to visit my grandmother and while we were eating lunch the news broke on television that the building had been bombed. We were glued to the television with horror in our eyes. I needed to do something. I drove to the Red Cross donation center in Fallston, Maryland to donate blood. I was not the only person with that idea and I was there for a long time.

A few days later I was at work working at a call center for a credit card company. I received a call from a audibly upset older man. I asked if I could help him and he said that he needed to cancel his daughter's credit card because she was killed in the Oklahoma City bombing. My heart raced. I got a cold flash through my body. I started shaking. My hands shook that I had difficulty writing down her information. My breathing became shallow and rapid. And I remember choking up and trying to hold back tears.

I could hear the pain in his voice. I wanted to help him. Unfortunately, there was nothing that I could do and I had to transfer the call to the appropriate department. Before transferring the call I gave the other representative the news that this caller's daughter was killed in the bombing in order to prepare him.

I got off of the phone and put my queue on busy for several minutes until I could compose myself. I thought about that family for days. I thought about them while I lay in bed at night. And every time I hear about the Oklahoma City bombing or Timothy McVeigh, I think about them again.

When Timothy McVeigh was executed, I again felt sad. Sad that someone could do this to other people. People who were innocent of any crime. The mothers and fathers and children that were killed. The sons and the daughters. And to remember that I spoke to one of those fathers who lost his daughter that day will forever be in my memory as if it had happened yesterday.


mdduckman said...

Wow, I never knew this...very heartfelt post. I still get choked up watching the footage, just like I do when I see the 9/11 footage. A mixture of tremendous sadness for the people who died and anger at the people who could do such a thing. And like you - thinking about the daycare makes me sick to my stomach. What a terrible terrible event in our history. I pray something like this will never happen again.

Charm City Kim said...

I wasn't expecting such a heartfelt post from you. I actualled welled up with tears.

Unfortunately, I don't quite recall the events like you did mostly because I was young and didn't pay attention to the news.

But I still feel sick and sad anytime I see 9/11 footage. Those memories still resonate...

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