Survivors, family members remember 23rd anniversary of Oklahoma City bombing

OKLAHOMA CITY — Survivors, victims’ family members and people from all over Oklahoma gathered for a remembrance ceremony for the 23rd anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing.

“It was really hard to do this today, but I know I had to come and honor my family,” Daina Bradley told News 4.

Bradley said, April 19, the day Timothy McVeigh set off a bomb outside the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in 1995, is always a hard day.

“I was in the social security office, me and my family - my mom, my sister, and me and my two kids,” Bradley said.

Only Bradley and her sister made it out alive. She joined other survivors and victims’ families for the 23rd anniversary remembrance ceremony on Thursday.

“We come here to remember those who were killed, those who survived and those changes forever,” Jennifer Walker, whose father died in the bombing, said during the ceremony.

“Twenty-three years ago, while the rest of the world, the whole nation and certainly all of our Oklahomans watched as we were challenged by one of our darkest moments in time in our state,” said Governor Mary Fallin during the ceremony.

“We are just making sure that we keep that legacy alive,” said Kari Watkins, the executive director for the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum.

That’s what Watkins said the anniversary is all about.

“Right now, 60 percent of Oklahomans didn’t live here in 95, so we want to make sure we don’t lose what we had and making sure we teach honor, goodness kindness and we’re just promoting those good deeds,” Watkins said.

For Bradley, those character traits are followed by forgiveness, which is one way she’s learned to cope with the pain of losing her loved ones.

“This terrorist act was wrongly on innocent people, and you have to focus on being positive, and loving others regardless and forgiving others,” Bradley said.