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KGOU and our Oklahoma Public Media Exchange partners' coverage of the Oklahoma City bombing at the 20th anniversary and beyond.

Rainy Morning Doesn’t Stop Annual Oklahoma City Bombing Remembrance Ceremony

Survivors and family members gathered in downtown Oklahoma City to remember the 168 victims of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. Tuesday marks 21 years since the attack on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.

The annual ceremony normally on the grounds of the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum was held at First Church at NW 5th Street and Robinson Ave. The sanctuary sustained heavy damage in the attack across the street. The remembrance was moved indoors due to the rain, and Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett noted the similarity to the weather on April 19, 1995.

"I can remember that it rained on this date 21 years ago, and it is so appropriate that we return to remember those that we lost,” Cornett said.

At precisely 9:02 a.m., the moment of the attack, Cornett called for 168 seconds of silence to honor each person killed.

Gov. Mary Fallin said she’ll never forget what happened in 1995. She had recently returned to the Capitol from the annual Metro Prayer Breakfast.

“Little did we know that when we left that event that morning, we would have to lean on our faith as much as we had,” Fallin said.

Fallin was just three months into her 12-year tenure as lieutenant governor in 1995 and said 21 years later, the pain is still there.

“There were certainly so many men and women who faced evil with courage, and stepped up to help that day,” Fallin said. "But we want the families to know, we want those who worked that day across the street to know, that Oklahoma has not forgotten."

Family members then spent several minutes reading each victims' name one by one.

Former Oklahoma City assistant fire chief Jon Hansen was also remembered briefly. As the public information officer, he served as the face of the department in the days after the bombing. He passed away Friday after battling cancer. Fallin also thanked former Gov. Frank Keating for attending.

There’s been renewed national interest in the bombing this year because of President Obama’s pick to replace Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February.

“The nomination of the one of the top Justice Department officials who worked the case, Merrick Garland, to the United States Supreme Court, shows us the work done here is still of critical importance to our country every single day,” said Mike Turpen, chair of the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum board of trustees.

He also read from a letter President Obama wrote last week.

Credit Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum

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Brian Hardzinski is from Flower Mound, Texas and a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. He began his career at KGOU as a student intern, joining KGOU full time in 2009 as Operations and Public Service Announcement Director. He began regularly hosting Morning Edition in 2014, and became the station's first Digital News Editor in 2015-16. Brian’s work at KGOU has been honored by Public Radio News Directors Incorporated (PRNDI), the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters, the Oklahoma Associated Press Broadcasters, and local and regional chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists. Brian enjoys competing in triathlons, distance running, playing tennis, and entertaining his rambunctious Boston Terrier, Bucky.
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