April 19, 1995 – twenty years ago. I was living in Tulsa, OK at the time, and the next day, after the bombing, I had to work in Oklahoma City. A group of us drove downtown, parked and walked to within a few hundred feet of the Murrah Building.
We stood and watched as a large group of rescue workers came trudging past us as they left the building. The looks on their faces told the story of what they had seen, unable to find any survivors in the rubble. The sight of the gutted building was horrifying, especially knowing there were still people inside. Of course at the time, a day after the bomb went off, we did not yet know that those trapped inside would not survive.
As I stood there in the middle of this large American city, it was stone cold silent - except for sounds coming from the group of rescue workers. I heard the crunch of their boots, and as they passed us not six feet away, I heard and saw some of them sobbing.
I clearly recall the sense of sadness and helplessness I felt standing in front of the wreckage of the Murrah Building, one day after one of the most terrible events in US history. Some things you never forget.
Larry Manch is an author, teacher, guitar player, freelance writer, and columnist. His books include: 'The Toughest Hundred Dollars & Other Rock & Roll Stories', 'A Sports Junkie', 'The Avery Appointment', 'Between the Fuzzy Parts'.
He also writes about baseball for Climbing Tal's Hill, food and travel on Miles & Meals, and music/guitars on The Backbeat.
He lives in Central Texas with his wife and family.