firefighter Chris Fields

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The blast killed 168 people, including 19 children, injured hundreds more and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to structures and vehicles in the downtown area. Photo AP.

The bomb killed 168 people, including 19 children, injured hundreds more and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to structures and vehicles in the downtown area. Photo AP.

The Oklahoma City Bombing

On April 19, 1995, around 9:03 a.m., just after parents dropped their children off at day care at the Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City, the unthinkable happened.

A massive bomb inside a rental truck exploded, blowing half of the nine-story building into oblivion. A stunned nation watched as the bodies of men, women, and children were pulled from the rubble for nearly two weeks.

When the smoke cleared and the exhausted rescue workers packed up and left, 168 people were dead.

Prosecutor Joseph Hartzler began his opening statement in the Timothy McVeigh trial by reminding the jury of the terror and the heartbreak:? “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, April 19th, 1995, was a beautiful day in Oklahoma City — at least it started out as a beautiful day. The sun was shining. Flowers were blooming. It was springtime in Oklahoma City.

Sometime after six o’clock that morning, Tevin Garrett’s mother woke him up to get him ready for the day. He was only 16 months old. He was a toddler; and as some of you know that have experience with toddlers, he had a keen eye for mischief. He would often pull on the cord of her curling iron in the morning, pull it off the counter top until it fell down, often till it fell down on him. That morning, she picked him up and wrestled with him on her bed before she got him dressed. She remembers this morning because that was the last morning of his life….”

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