I wouldn’t have remembered, unless I had been reminded last night.
So I guess it takes 16 years to heal (for the most part). This is the first year that I had to be reminded about it.
April 19, 1995 ~ the OKC bombing. How could I forget? How COULD I forget? But i almost did.
Oh, and here’s a new buddy of mine. Well, buddy is too strong a word. New acquaintance. He was in my office a few times this session lobbying for firefighter training pay. He was the firefighter/spokesman that everyone remembers from the OKC Fire Department.
I only knew one person who died in the bombing …a girl from my school years. Here is the Freshman Class committee. I am first row, bottom left. Beside me is Diana Day, who was our head cheerleader. She was the only one I knew that died in the bombing. But don’t ask me how many I know that were affected in some way. (BTW, a very early boyfriend is also in this pic. Ya’ll fight amongst yourselves over which one he was.)
So cheers to all the survivors. Including this tree. The Survivor Tree. The year after the bombing, President Clinton came and made a speech (yes, I know, I know, but he was very good on this occasion) … part of the speech was that the signs of life returning on this old elm tree was symbolic of the deep roots of this community. And the Survivor Tree was thus coined. If that is proper grammar, i know not.
Survivor can take on lots of meanings. This whole city is a SURVIVOR.
And I can’t believe that I almost forgot … because 1995 is also the year my brother died. In January of that year, a few months before the bombing. he was 42. And mom died the next spring. A broken heart? So I always associate the bombing with my family loss. Even though my people didn’t die in the bombing, it was around the time that they did.
So to Chickie, and Auntie, and Boxie, and all others who have lost important people recently … this is how long it takes to heal. Minimum. But I am sure you all are survivors. Honor those lives you have lost. But survive.