OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahomans gathered for the 24th anniversary of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing at a remembrance ceremony.
"24 years after the bombing, we stand just on the edge of a new era of our remembrance,” OKC Mayor David Holt said at the ceremony.
Oklahomans from all over the state gathered at the Oklahoma City National Memorial Friday morning to honor and remember the 168 lives lost following the explosion outside the Alfred P. Murrah federal building on April 19th, 1995.
“These two men, McVeigh and Nichols, who did this, their intention and their reason, their motive was they wanted to bring the government down. They hated the government and they wanted to bring us down and being down this community,” Justice Steven Taylor, chairman for the Oklahoma City National Memorial Foundation, said. “Oklahoma City turned around and said no you`re not going to bring us to our knees.”
Justice Taylor was the presiding judge in the state trial of the bombing. He spoke at the ceremony and then afterward, gave Governor Kevin Stitt and his family their first tour of the memorial museum.
“Oklahoma City has done a fabulous job with that museum and the interactive stuff all of our kids were playing with it and learning the history and the artifacts that were brought back here,” Governor Stitt said.
It’s been 24 years of pain but also strength.
“It affects everybody in Oklahoma. We’re one degree separated, really. It’s touched everybody`s lives in Oklahoma. It’s an honor and a privilege and I`m humbled to be here,” Governor Stitt said.
“No doubt this ceremony a year from today will have extra pomp and circumstance. Once more, perhaps for the final time, the nation's full attention will turn to this place. 24 years signals the beginning of the end of an era," Mayor Holt said during the ceremony.