OKLAHOMA CITY (CBSDFW.COM) – CBS 11’s Steve Pickett was born and raised in Oklahoma City and returned to his hometown Sunday, to remember lives lost one devastating day.
Christi Jenkins lived two blocks from the house I called home in Oklahoma City.
Sunday her sister Tracie made the same trip I made from Dallas to attend the same gathering.
“I received a call about an explosion and my sister was in the building,” recalls Tracie.
The people returning to the site of the former federal building in Oklahoma City are all connected. They may be families, neighbors, coworkers but they are Oklahomans tied by terror.
A plot to target the U.S Government killed 168 of its men, women and children.
The explosion that ripped apart the Murrah Federal Building on April 19th 1995 became known as the Oklahoma City Bombing…America’s deadliest domestic act of terrorism, until 9-11.
Calvin and Peola Battle died in the building together. I’ve known their daughters since our teenage years.
“The 20th anniversary it just came too fast, just like April 19th came too fast,” says LaDonna Battle who’s parents were killed in the bombing. “You turn back the clock 20 years ago, we were in our darkest hour.”
Sunday’s 20th year remembrance spoke not just of yesterday’s pain, but a community’s perseverance.
How this city fought through the despair that terror brings.
“For 20 years you’ve honored your loved ones, inspired us with renewal, and reminded us that we should all live by the Oklahoma standard,” says Former President Bill Clinton, who was in office during this incident.
Oklahoma City now shines in a light of growth, instead of a day of darkness. They can’t forget what to happen to them, but instead deciding a bombing, should no longer define them.