OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – April 19th is a day Oklahomans always remember. This year the date marked 28 years since the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah building in 1995. Wednesday morning, Oklahomans gathered to remember the 168 lives lost and those that were changed forever.

Oklahoma City bombing remembrance ceremony. Image KFOR.
Oklahoma City bombing remembrance ceremony. Image KFOR.

April 19th is considered a somber day for Oklahomans. The day 168 lives were lost is still fresh in our memories despite 28 years having passed.

“It’s very emotional even after all these years,” Doris Jones said. A woman who lost her daughter in the bombing.

“I think remembering people’s names and knowing their stories is important, not only for the state, but just for just being a common, courteous person and living that Oklahoma standard that we always preach about,” Ivan Martinez said. A man who lost his dad in the bombing.

Wednesday morning’s remembrance ceremony was held inside the First Church of Oklahoma City. Speakers included Gov. Kevin Stitt, Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt and retired chief justice Steven Taylor. He presided over the state trial of Terry Nichols in 2004.

“May we all leave here knowing the impact of violence and that we find comfort, strength, peace, hope and serenity, especially the families of those killed and the survivors of that day,” Taylor said.

After the ceremony the field of empty chairs was filled with family members, including a very close family friend of mine Doris Jones. Jones lost her 26-year-old daughter Carrie Ann Lenz who was also pregnant with Jones’s grandson Michael at the time of the bombing.

“I’m like, Oh, this just doesn’t make sense,” she said.

“Coming back is a different, different perspective every year,” Martinez said.

Martinez lost his dad, the Rev. Gilbert X. Martinez, in the bombing when he was just 10 days old.

“Not having my father around for graduation, weddings and stuff like that, it’s a big deal,” he said.

Pain in their loss. However, Jones said there is comfort in gathering with the other families of the 168.

“We share something that you can’t get with just with anyone,” she said.

Each year, the hollow grounds of the memorial being a reminder that we will never forget.

“I definitely think that the memorial is a huge remembrance of, you know, perseverance and, you know, being courageous and the Oklahoma standard is exemplified here,” Martinez said.