OKLAHOMA CITY – Today Oklahoma paused to remember an event that forever changed our state.
It has been 19 years since a bomb ripped apart the Murrah building, killing 168 people.
Hundreds gathered this morning to honor the lives lost and to show the world Oklahoma City’s resiliency.
“That day began very much like today with the sun shining and people going on about their lives,” says Susan Winchester, Chairwoman for the Oklahoma City National Memorial Foundation. “And then at 9:02 a.m. our lives forever changed.”
Saturday morning people from Oklahoma and beyond gathered at the meeting point of remembrance.
First responder Dr. Elinor Lottinville says, “We come here to remember those who were killed, those who survived, those changed forever.”
“I would maintain this is the heart of our country, this is the heart of our state, and this is the heart of our city,” says Mayor Mick Cornett.
As more time passes, it gets easier to forget.
“Help us not to forget. It is true it’s been 19 years there are a lot of our children who were not here or not born at that time and we don’t ever want them to forget the tremendous loss,” said Governor Mary Fallin.
10-year-old Maykayla Hammons, knows how important keeping the 168 names alive in our hearts.
“It’s a blessing to know that they really care about those people who were hurt and killed and lost a family member,” says Hammons.
Museum visitor Wendy Lanski says, “It will always happen. There will always be people, bad people in the world. But what we do with atrocities and how we go forward and how we’re remembered matters.”
This year’s memorial service took place during a time of renovation at the Oklahoma City Memorial Museum.
Updated exhibits are being added to make the events of April 19th, 1995 more relevant to a new generation that doesn’t remember that dark day.