Tuesday, April 19, 2016

We will never forget April 19, 1995

At 9:02am CDT April 19, 1995, Timothy McVeigh and co-conspirator Terry Nichols detonated a 5000lb diesel fuel-ammonium nitrate bomb outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City.  The blast, heard 55 miles away, killed 168 people, injured almost 700, destroyed or damaged 324 buildings with in a 16 block radius and caused an estimated $652 million in damages.  The explosion came on the two-year anniversary of the Waco siege on the Branch Davidian compound.  It remains the deadliest attack of domestic terrorism in US history.

Nineteen of the victims were babies and children.  Although McVeigh said he didn't know about the daycare, he had scouted the interior a few months before, so he had to have known about it.  Seven children were made orphans by the explosion.  A picture of firefighter Chris Fields holding fatally injured Baylee Almon taken by Charles Porter won the Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography in 1996.

An elm tree which survived the attack, the Survivor Tree, has become the emblem of the Oklahoma City Memorial, dedicated by President Bill Clinton exactly 5 years after the bombing.

The Oklahoma City Memorial

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