History & Culture
Many remember the individuals that senselessly caused great pain and suffering. In one brief moment, lives changed forever. Innocence lost. Witnesses to the attack bare scares both emotionally and physically. Heroes evoke an inner strength to carry on. A countless number of individuals, some of whom never set foot in Oklahoma City let alone the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, found themselves intertwined in the story of the attack.
The Oklahoma City bombing narrative weaves its way through small town America. The story starts in Pendleton, New York, and Decker, Michigan the homes of Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, respectively. It continues at Fort Riley, Kansas where they meet entering the army and unfolding with the events of Waco, Texas and Ruby Ridge, Idaho. The hometowns and families of the 168 people who passed away that morning stretch from Africa to New Mexico. Their lives forever intertwined in the Alfred P. Murrah Federal building that morning. All these people and places are an integral part of this tragic story.
We can learn from the broad range of stories coming from this national tragedy. We learn from survivors about trauma and recovery. We learn about rescuers' and their four-legged companion's willingness to help. We learn the lesson of compassion from a nation suddenly devastated by terror. We learn that healing comes in stages through justice, a recognized need for prevention, the concern of others, and the creation of a place of remembrance. With the passage of time the story continues to grow and change.