The 17th annual Remembrance Ceremony was held on April 19, 2012 at the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum in Oklahoma City, OK. The bombing was the deadliest attack in the US before 9/11. The Oklahoma City Bombing killed 168 people on April 19, 1995.
During the ceremony, 168 seconds of silence were observed at 9:02 a.m for those killed at the Alfred P Murrah building in downtown Oklahoma City. Families of the victims, survivors, and people that were affected by the bombing, gather every year on the ground to remember, mourn, or just to be grateful for their life and to be able to move forward from that horrific tragedy of a day.
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin took part in a ceremony to honor the victims and said, “Seventeen years ago an unimaginable, shocking act occurred of terrorism that was perpetrated on the people of Oklahoma. 168 lives were lost here, this very site. And as we look at it today, and it’s beautiful. It’s a pretty day, light wind, pretty trees, birds flying. It’s hard to even imagine what could have happened here 17 years ago with those 168 lives and 19 children who we lost. When you think about the horror, the brutality, even the evil that occurred when the Murrah Building was bombed, it can never be overstated the loss that Oklahoma experienced. And it would have been very easy for that attack to cripple our city, to hold it back, to leave our people hopeless. But it did not. Instead, the people of Oklahoma rose up, and they banded together with the help of so many.”
Christopher Winn led the moment of silence. “We come here to remember those who were killed, those who survive and those changed forever. May all who leave here know the impact of violence. May this memorial offer comfort, strength, peace, hope and serenity. Please join me in 168 seconds of silence.” Winn is one of only six children who survived from the second-floor daycare center in the building.
Gary Pierson, the chairman of the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum at Thursday’s ceremony. “This day 17 years ago also started as a beautiful day. But it was shattered at 9:02 a.m. and ended as a day the nation should never forget. It was a day of unspeakable cowardice and pain that transcended into nearly two decades of bravery, compassion, vision and routine displays of character at the highest levels.”
Timothy McVeigh was convicted on federal murder charges for the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building and was executed in 2001.