April 19, 1995...a date forever etched into the minds of Oklahomans and many Americans forever.
I remember this day well. I live in Oklahoma City, and I did back then too. MrKB and I had just been married barely two months before. We lived in a small one-bedroom apartment, and we both worked nights at Buy For Less grocery store.
The bomb went off at 9:02am...we were in bed asleep...we both woke up at the same exact moment, looked at each other, then looked at the clock...it read 9:03am. Neither one of us was sure at that point what had woke us up, but we think now that we felt the blast that had just occured less than 10 miles away. At the time, though, we thought nothing of it and went back to sleep.
About an hour and a half later, my Mom called us and told us to turn on the TV. I remember just being frozen in place and staring in disbelief at what I was seeing. This couldn't be Oklahoma City!! Stuff like this doesn't happen here!
I had to go to work that day, but I wanted desperately to be down there helping...I felt like I should be doing SOMETHING to help, even if I didn't know what I could do...It didn't matter though, they were turning people away because so many had showed up.
168 people died that day. Including this little girl, who was just one year old:
Her name was Baylee...
Thankfully, I didn't know anybody personally that died that terrible day, but I knew people who did lose relatives or friends...One girl we worked with lost an uncle and a cousin.
The day brought out the best in Oklahomans, and Americans everywhere. People came from all over to help us recover, just as they did later in New York and most recently in New Orleans.
And recover we did.
This is the Survivor Tree. It is an American Elm and survived the blast. It was already over 100 years old at the time of the bombing. It still stands and thrives today at the Oklahoma City National Memorial. I visited the memorial, only once, because it is painful...I hugged this very tree while there.
Oklahoma and I will never forget.....will you???