It was 12 years ago today that one of the most horrific tragedies in American history occurred, when a truck loaded with explosives blew up at the Alfred Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City, killing 168 innocent people, including 19 children. I'll never forget that day, and the numbers of people killed in that terrorist attack was simply too horrific to come to terms with at the time.
Six years later, the Oklahoma City tragedy was dwarved by the September 11 attacks, with numbers of dead that was simply so unbelievable. But in those years, families who lost loved ones in both attacks formed a common bond, and today there are many 9/11 family members at the ceremonies to lend support to those people of Oklahoma City.
I have personally met many people who lost loved ones in Oklahoma City, as they come to New York every year to support the 9/11 families each anniversary. Their caring and warmth towards us was truly inspiring, and greatly appreciated by everyone. My thoughts and prayers are with them on this grim anniversary.
There is a beautiful memorial at the site of the bombing, with 168 separate chairs, one for each victim, and they light up at night. (See the above picture.) I have never been to Oklahoma City, but I have seen film of the memorial site and it is truly special and a wonderful tribute to those innocents who perished that day.
Back in September 2002, a man who lost a loved one in the Oklahoma City attack told me that it gets harder with each anniversary that his loved one is gone, and taken away so brutally. He is absolutely correct. It never gets easier.
Please say a prayer today for all those whose lives were altered forever by the terrible tragedy in Oklahoma City 12 years ago today.
They will forever be in my prayers.