April 19, 1995

The day started out like any other.

I woke up around 9 a.m. and thought I felt the ground shake for an instant. I didn’t think too much of it and threw on a Joe’s shirt, a pair of cut- off jean shorts, grabbed my waitbag and headed out the door. I was shift leader at Mexico Joe’s in Stillwater, OK and needed to get the restaurant ready to open at 10 for the lunch shift.

When the breaking news came on the television I stood with other employees as we watched in horror the scenes of half of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building blown apart from a bomb. The ambulances, medical professionals, children and adults bleeding, crying, not understanding what had happened.

Charles Porter, a high school classmate of mine took this picture that won a Pulitzer Prize.

How could any of us understand this scene of confusion and death on our home soil, the United States of America. But not only that, it was my home state of Oklahoma. The Oklahoma City bombing was the deadliest act of terror against the U.S. on American soil until the September 11, 2001 attacks. I knew many people affected from this tragedy; police officers, medical staff, families of the children and adults whose lives were lost so suddenly. It is a day no Oklahoman will ever forget, at least not in my lifetime.

The Oklahoma blast claimed 168 lives, including 19 children under the age of 6. Hate killed 168 innocent people.

I tried to upload the video “The Change” by Garth Brooks, for which he made a powerfully moving video honoring the heroes and victims of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. But I was unable to get it to post. If you would like to watch go here. I cannot watch it and not cry. Too many memories.

Let us come together in peace. Absolve us from hate.

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