OKLAHOMA CITY – The 28th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing was remembered in the Oklahoma House of Representatives on Wednesday with a presentation, the reading of a resolution and 168 seconds of silence.
House Resolution 1011, authored by Rep. Rick West, R-Heavener, sends heartfelt remembrances to the families, friends and neighbors of those killed and injured in the terrorist bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building and expresses gratitude to those who answered the call for help.
The bombing happened at 9:02 a.m. April 19, 1995, in downtown Oklahoma City, taking the lives of 168 people and injuring more than 850 others. It is the worst domestic terrorist attack ever to occur in United States history.
West, who worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture at the time of the bombing, lost seven co-workers that day. Each year that he's served as a state representative, he's presented a resolution in the House to remember his coworkers and others killed or injured in the terrorist bombing.
"I've kind of made it my mission as a state representative to never let the tragedy of that day go untold," West said. "We must always remember those whose lives were lost and the actions that brought such loss. At the same time, we learned an incredible lesson about the hearts of Oklahomans. The people of our great state responded with such compassion and an outpouring of support to treat the wounded and take care of the needs of all who were hurt or who came to our aid. This courageous response came to be known as the ‘Oklahoma Standard,’ and it is alive and well today,” West said.
Rep. Ellyn Hefner, D-Oklahoma City, helped in today's presentation.
"We watched in horror, for days, as victims were pulled from beneath the destruction, some of them so tiny that life had only just begun when it was cruelly stolen," Hefner said. "Today's occasion is a solemn one as we remember those lost and honor the lives of countless others forever changed by the Oklahoma City bombing."
Wednesday's floor presentation featured several special guests, including Charlie Hanger, the retired Highway Patrolman who apprehended Timothy McVeigh.
Several other members of the House of Representatives shared memories from the day of the bombing as well in a video produced by House Communications.
Rep. Anthony Moore, R-Clinton, was in seventh grade at the time of the bombing. He said he and his family wanted to help in some way and bought rain coats to distribute to volunteers who were working in the rain. He recalled standing in line for hours because so many others had shown up with similar donations.
"We all did whatever we could with whatever we had," he said. “It made me very proud of Oklahoma and set the standard for what it meant to be an Oklahoman.”