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Flashback Friday: April 19th, 1995 9:02 am

April 9, 2010

If you can tell me what happened on this date, then kudos to you. To me, it’s a day I won’t ever forget. 

This Happened.


Little Baylee Almon, who had just celebrated her first birthday the day before she lost her life.


me in 4th grade (eating of course ;) ) wearing a ribbon to remember the bombing victims

April 19th, 1995 started out like any other day to me. I was a 4th grader. I remember sitting class doing Math when I heard a loud noise and felt a shake. My mom thought that a car ran into our house. All of us students were pretty curious as to what happened. We looked outside the window and saw smoke out in the distance. Our teacher told us she thought it was a Sonic Boom. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a Sonic Boom. It was an act of terror in Oklahoma City. 

The rest of the day is more of a blur. We all went into another classroom, a room that had a TV and we were plugged to the news. School officials came and led a boy out of the classroom because his mother worked in that building and they weren’t sure how she was. It was horrible. We didn’t even fully understand the extent as to what went on. 

For those of you who don’t know much about that day, I’ll give you a small History lesson. 

 At 9:02 a.m. on April 19, 1995,  a Ryder truck (filled with roughly 5,000 pounds (2,300 kg) of ammonium nitrate, an agricultural fertilizer, and nitromethane, a highly volatile motor-racing fuel-a mixture also known as Kinepak or ANFO (ammonium nitrate/fuel oil) exploded in the street in front of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building. The explosion is so powerful that it is almost impossible to imagine. Instantly, cars parked in the vicinity are crumpled, incinerated, flipped about like burning, broken toys. The 250-pound rear axle of the Ryder truck rockets through the air, landing farther than a city block away. Every building within 16 blocks is damaged in some way as the shock wave ripples through downtown Oklahoma City; distant windows blow inwards, spraying insiders with glass shards. Car alarms are shrieking for miles. The Murrah building takes the brunt of the force — the equivalent of three tons of dynamite (the truck bomb was a “shaped charge” to direct its energy in a particular direction), but incredibly, part of it is still standing. A giant bite has been taken out of it, a U-shaped section missing from all nine floors. 165 people from the building are dead or dying — including 19 children, fifteen of them from the daycare center which was almost directly above the truck bomb. 

Enough glass blown into the air that shards rained down for 10 minutes, 323 buildings damaged or destroyed, investigators searching through 450 tons of debris for clues, one of the axle housings from the rented truck found 575 feet away (and that close only because it collided with a car), 168 killed in the blast and another during the rescue. So much death that 30 children were orphaned, another 219 lost at least one parent, that people had to decide which overlapping funerals for friends and co-workers to attend and which to miss, that it was estimated that one-third of the population of 387,000 knew someone who perished or was among the 850 injured. 

I remember being so confused as a child as to why somebody would want to do something so horrible. What’s worse is an American did this. To his own people. To his own innocent people because he was mad at the goverment. Timothy McVeigh was caught VERY shortly after the bombing and was later sentenced to death and has since been executed. There are many conspiracy theories as to what happened, but I try not to focus on that. 

What needs to be focused on was the people who lost their lives and their loved ones. What needs to be focused on is how our community came together so beautifully to support one another in this very scary time. People from all across the country fled into Oklahoma City to help with rescue missions that lasted for over 2 weeks. 

They eventually imploded the building–and they never even found everyone. It was a horribly sad thing. I didn’t understand the magnitude of it until me and my mom went to the site a few days before it was to be imploded. I remember standing close to the bottom of it and feeling a sense of horror. How could one person do all this? People were in shock and crying around us. I’m glad my mom took me to see the site so I can see it myself. See what horrors man is capable of, but also see what beauitful positive things we are capable of. 

Even worse, this didn’t just affect those in the building. A rescue worker was killed due to falling debris. My DARE teacher in 4th grade whom I adored eventually ended up committing suicide because he was haunted by what he saw on the scene that day. 

Honestly, I still get pretty emotional thinking about even though it happened so long ago. Also, I get emotional about it because it seems like so many people have forgotten what happened. 

We now have a beautiful memorial in downtown Oklahoma City located right where the building sat. 

Oklahoma City Memorial


The Gates of Time


These monumental twin gates frame the moment of destruction – 9:02 a.m. – and mark the formal entrances to the Memorial. The East Gate represents 9:01 a.m. on April 19, and the innocence of the city before the attack. The West Gate represents 9:03 a.m., the moment we were changed forever, and the hope that came from the horror in the moments and days following the bombing. 




Field of Empty Chairs

The 168 chairs represent the lives taken on April 19, 1995. They stand in nine rows to represent each floor of the building, and each chair bears the name of someone killed on that floor. Nineteen smaller chairs stand for the children. The field is located on the footprint of the Murrah Building. 

Reflecting Pool

The pool occupies what was once N.W. Fifth Street. Here, a shallow depth of gently flowing water helps soothe wounds, with calming sounds providing a peaceful setting for quiet thoughts. The placid surface shows the reflection of someone changed forever by their visit to the Memorial. 

Survivor Tree


The Survivor Tree, an American Elm, bore witness to the violence of April 19, 1995, and withstood the full force of the attack. Years later, it continues to stand as a living symbol of resilience. The circular promontory surrounding the tree offers a place for gathering and viewing the Memorial. 

If you ever get the chance to come to Oklahoma City, I urge you to visit the Memorial. It’s a beautiful place with a lot of meaning. 

April 19th is a couple weeks away, but when April 19th comes around, please take a moment to say a quick prayer to all those who lost loved ones that morning and take a moment to remember those who lost their lives that day. 

Sorry to be so somber on this Friday, but everytime April comes around I remember that morning and just wanted to share with all of you some of my memories and a little more about what happened. 

**Come back this weekend–I’m starting a fun new workout program next week and I’ll talk about it this weekend**

44 Comments leave one →
  1. peanutbutterfingers permalink
    April 9, 2010 9:15 am

    what a touching post. i remember when that happened and those pictures bring it all back. the memorial looks beautiful and i only hope it provides the families of those lost a little comfort and peace.

  2. April 9, 2010 9:15 am

    Wow this post gave me chills. I was only 10 when this happened, but it is so so sad.

  3. Danielle permalink
    April 9, 2010 9:33 am

    I was really young when this happened so thanks for sharing the story. Mid April is a depressing time :( I’ll say a prayer on the 19th and the 16th…

  4. April 9, 2010 9:33 am

    Though it’s somber, thank- you for the reminder, I hadn’t heard any sort of reminder in the news today. I’m choked up reading your account of it and definitely keeping those people in my mind today. The memorial is beautiful and looks peaceful.

  5. April 9, 2010 9:45 am

    this is such a great, powerful post — thank you for sharing.

    thinking of you… ;)


  6. April 9, 2010 9:46 am

    Wow….I have goosebumps. Thank you so much for this post. I feel a little embarrassed at how we (myself included) have almost forgotten about this. I will never forget that day…..

  7. April 9, 2010 9:47 am

    a beautiful and touching post. reminds me to be thankful.

  8. April 9, 2010 10:00 am

    Amazing post. Thank you for sharing this with us. It must’ve been terrifying.

    People seem to forget that domestic terrorism is just as big of a threat as foreign terrorism. This is a great reminder.

  9. April 9, 2010 10:01 am

    Thanks for the reminder. I’ve been to the memorial twice. It’s such an awesome experience to be there.

  10. April 9, 2010 10:05 am

    This is such a beautiful post in memory of all of the people who lost their lives.
    Thank you for the history lesson. I’m a little embarrassed to say that I did not know about this, but I’m also Canadian and I was really young when it happened, so I wouldn’t remember the news and we didn’t learn about it in school. Anyway, I’m happy that you are sharing this story. It is incredibly sad but everyone should be aware of it.

    • April 9, 2010 11:01 am

      Hey Lauren! I’m glad you liked the post–and your comment was exactly why I wrote it–many people were to young to remember or possibly didnt live in the country! Im glad you took something from it!

  11. April 9, 2010 11:20 am

    oh wow… what a powerful post. it teared me up

    The memorial park/area looks really nice..

  12. April 9, 2010 11:39 am

    Lisa, what a beautiful post. I remember that day…I was in 8th grade. It was horrible….I am glad you brought it up because we all so easily forget and I don’t want those to be forgotten!!

  13. April 9, 2010 11:51 am

    Lisa, what a moving tribute to those who lost their lives in the tragedy in your homestate. I remember seeing it on the news when I got home from school and as a 6th grader I can remember being very sad for everyone involved.

  14. April 9, 2010 1:52 pm

    What a touching post. I was 14 when this happened, so I remember it like it was yesterday. Such a horrible day in our country’s history!!

  15. Lindsay permalink
    April 9, 2010 2:20 pm

    I remember that my mom and dad were out of town on their yearly anniversary trip, and I was home, it must have been spring break or something. I have a flashbulb memory of sitting on our couch, watching the news with my babysitter and little brother just trying to sort it all out. So sad.

  16. April 9, 2010 2:52 pm

    Very touching post, so glad you shared. You’re so right that it’s important for us to REMEMBER tragedies like this, to REMEMBER all of those involved. I will definitely be doing that – today, April 19, and hopefully many other days.

  17. April 9, 2010 2:54 pm

    What a beautiful post to memorialize something that most of us have forgotten about! The memorial pictures are stunning and touching. Thanks for sharing them.

  18. runrettarun permalink
    April 9, 2010 2:56 pm

    This post is perfect. I will never forget where I was, what I was doing . . . that picture of Bailey always breaks my heart and I cry every time I see it.

    Bravo, Lisa!

  19. April 9, 2010 3:40 pm

    Awesome post Lisa. I remember that day like it was just yesterday. Even though I was further away and “the city” was really mysterious to me at the time, I remember feeling the exact same things you described. It’s so hard to believe how long ago it was.

  20. April 9, 2010 4:16 pm

    Wow, what an amazing post dear. I had forgotten about that but as soon as I saw the picture, I remembered. I don’t understand how someone can just kill so many innocent people, and innocent children, like that. It breaks my heart.

  21. April 9, 2010 4:40 pm

    I agree that it’s a somber post, but I remember when this happened. I was a teen and glued to the TV, horrified. There are a few events in my life that I’ll always remember (this one, Columbine and 9/11). It looks like the city made a beautiful memorial though.

  22. Denise permalink
    April 9, 2010 5:50 pm

    Wow, what a beatiful reminder of what can happen. I know several people who lost loved ones that day. You are a great writer and I know that all the families involved are remembering just like it was yesterday.

    Always tell the people around you that you love them, you never know when it is the last time you will see them.

    Great Post!!

  23. fattiefatterton permalink
    April 9, 2010 6:12 pm

    I’m ashamed to say I didn’t remember the date, but when I aw the building, I knew what it was.

    Beautiful tribute, my friend.

  24. April 9, 2010 7:55 pm

    chilling post. i didn’t remember the date, i won’t lie. but thank you for reminding all of us.

  25. April 9, 2010 11:40 pm

    Thank you so much for writing this post. I was also really young at the time and lived far away. I knew about what happened, but unfortunately never really learned what really happened. Its scary how easy it is to sort of brush off such huge tragedies when you aren’t more closely attached. It was really awesome of you to share so much of this with us. Btw, the memorial looks beautiful, I hope I can visit it someday.

  26. April 10, 2010 12:11 am

    Very touching and well written. Thank you.

  27. April 10, 2010 8:37 am

    Wow, that’s an amazing story, and it’s so true that no matter how long ago events like this were, it’s important to look back and remember.

    Hope you’re having a beautiful weekend!

  28. April 10, 2010 8:42 am

    What a beautifully written post, thanks for sharing.

  29. April 10, 2010 9:00 am

    i was only 9 when this happenend, thank you so much for making us aware and sharing this powerful story, it was beautifully written, Lisa

  30. April 10, 2010 9:33 am

    Thank you so much for sharing your memories with us…that must be hard. My boyfriend’s granddad was driving through OK City at the time of the bombings (on his way to Kansas from TX), and felt the vibrations in his car. He now refuses to drive in Oklahoma when he goes up north!
    The memorial is beautiful- I would love to go there.

  31. April 10, 2010 11:32 am

    I remember that day/moment as well, in as much detail. I was in kingergarten and didn’t full understand what all of that meant at the time. Both of my parents work downtown and it is a miracle that they were both untouched by the horrors of that day. Thank you for posting-have a wonderful day Lisa!

  32. April 10, 2010 12:17 pm

    What a touching post. Thank you for sharing. I think it is good that we are reminded. I was touched by the wondeful memorial.
    This is a terribly sad thing. I will definitely be saying a prayer.

  33. April 10, 2010 7:23 pm

    Thanks for posting Lisa, it was a very sad time.

  34. April 10, 2010 7:51 pm

    What a reminder. I definitely don’t remember that so vividly since I was young and farther away. That was moving to read. I felt sick seeing the picture of that infant. I can’t imagine anyone feeling the need to cause so much destruction to innocent people. And children! That just makes me so upset.

  35. Vee permalink
    April 12, 2010 4:19 am

    That is absolutely shocking. I actually did not know about it. Thanks to bringing this up as I believe it’s important for us to realize that there can be so much violence out there and we should cherish every single day of our lives.

  36. April 12, 2010 3:00 pm

    I was pretty young and didn’t know that much abou the event. I appreciate you telling us. It was really touching and I would love to get to the memorial one day.

  37. April 19, 2010 1:25 pm

    Such a great post, Lisa. It’s wild to know you were so close by!

    The picture of the baby gets to me so much…it always did, but now that I have my own babies, I don’t know what I would do if that were a picture of one of mine. I can’t even FATHOM the thought.

    I don’t understand how people believe that doing such a thing is good thing to do…whether just because or because their religion says so.

    Thanks for sharing…

    (PS: I work at Virginia Tech…April 16th is the day they lost 32 students to that shooting back in 2007. It’s been a week for reflecting, hasn’t it?)

    • April 19, 2010 1:46 pm

      What is it with this week in April? Im pretty sure the Littleton CO shootings at the highschool was also on April 19th.


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