OKC Bombing Remembered with House Resolution
Mike Seals - April 19, 2021 10:19 pm
OKLAHOMA CITY – The 26th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing was remembered in the Oklahoma House of Representatives on Monday with the reading of a resolution and 168 seconds of silence.
House Resolution 1024, authored by Rep. Rick West, R-Heavener, sends heartfelt remembrances to the families, friends and neighbors of those killed in the terrorist bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building; encourages citizens to pause to remember those who died; sends heartfelt remembrances to those injured in the bombing; and expresses gratitude to those who answered the call for help.
The bombing happened at 9:02 a.m. April 19, 1995, in downtown Oklahoma City.
West, who worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture at the time of the bombing, lost seven co-workers that day. He read the names of his co-workers while presenting the resolution on the House floor and talked about each as well as about other victims of the terrorist act.
“This is something I will never forget as long as I live,” West said. “These were my co-workers and friends. I know so many other families and others were impacted by this terrible act as well. We must always remember those whose lives were lost and the actions that brought such loss.
“While we suffered such unbearable loss that day, we also learned an incredible lessen about the hearts of Oklahomans. The people of our great state responded to this event with such compassion and an outpouring of support to treat the wounded, provide meals and take care of the needs of all who were hurt or who came to assist us. This courageous response came to be known as the ‘Oklahoma Standard,’ and it is alive and well today,” West said.
West wore a badge from the 20th anniversary of the bombing presented to him by House Sergeant Stephen Almon. Almon is a third-cousin to Aren Almon, who dropped her daughter Baylee off at the daycare in the Murrah building the day of the bombing. Baylee was killed by the blast. Her image was immortalized in a photograph taken of her being cradled by a fireman after the horrific event.
Stephen Almon worked in law enforcement in Wichita at the time of the bombing but had children living in Oklahoma City. He said he was a helicopter pilot at the time, and was on standby to fly with his chief and other officers to assist at the bomb site. With the rush of other law enforcement from across the state and surrounding areas, he was told they didn’t need any more help at the time. It was several days later when he finally came on his own to see his children and visit the site.
“It was very emotional for me,” Almon said. “I just feel so much empathy for the people injured or who lost their loved ones that day.”
Almon said he later had to fly his helicopter above the motorcade that transported convicted conspirator Terry Nichols to federal court.
Almon retired after 40 years in law enforcement, his final position being deputy director of Homeland Security. He now serves part time as a House sergeant-at-arms.