Relatives, survivors and others mark 16th anniversary of Oklahoma City bombing

A victim's family member talks about the importance of the education programs of the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum.
BY BRYAN PAINTER bpainter@opubco.com Published: April 20, 2011

“I have to tell you I learn something new every time I visit,” he said. “And in the gallery of honor, I never fail to be moved when I see the faces of my lunchtime, card-playing buddies in Social Security, the children from America's Kids day care who trick-or-treated us in our office on Halloween, and the credit union girls that I played softball with and many, many other dear friends.”

Williams said he will always have memories of the people, the building, that day and the days that followed. But with the museum, he also will have access to the real story and the details will always be clear.

The remembrance ceremony also included Oklahoma City police Sgt. Justin Echols playing the keyboard and singing “God Bless America,” as some of those in the crowd dabbed at tears with tissues or the hugged the one next to them.

On Tuesday, the morning started warm, but chilled as a front rode through on strong April winds.

As the leaves of the Survivor Tree fluttered, the names of those who died were read, occasionally marked by the words “my grandma,” “my grandpa,” “my dad,” “my mother,” “my son,” “my aunt and role model,” “my brother,” “our big sister” and other terms of love.

As the ceremony ended, the National 9/11 Flag, brought to Oklahoma City by the New York Says Thank You Foundation, was carried through the 9:03 gate to the museum.

The Oklahoma City Bombing

IF YOU GO

Reflections of hope award

Former President George W. Bush, his wife Laura, and their daughters will receive the 2011 Reflections of Hope Award today. The daughters, Barbara Pierce Bush and Jenna Bush Hager, are scheduled to receive the award on behalf of their family during a luncheon at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.

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