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Sunday, April 18, 2010

April 19th, 1995


This week's question, "April 19, 1995 - Where were you?"

I had taken the kids to the small, rural school they attended and after letting them out, parked the car to run inside to visit with one of the teachers I had previously worked with. She had called and asked if I would be free to sub later in the week. After checking with her, I decided to go back by the office before returning home.

At the time, the office was small. It was actually two adjoining offices, but neither one was much larger than a walk-in closet. In that rather cramped area, six or seven teachers had gathered, along with the principal and the superintendant. It was disturbingly quiet. There was no typical early morning chit-chat, only worried faces and the faint sound coming from a portable television someone had turned on.

I asked, what was going on and was told by the secretary there had been a bombing in Oklahoma City. Not comprehending the seriousness of the situation or how devastating the action actually was, I made one of my flippant (stupid) comments, something to the effect ~ “how bad can a pipe bomb in OKC be?”

The superintendant looked at me like I had three heads (all screwed on backwards). He politely and simply said, “It’s serious, Cheryl. It wasn’t a pipe bomb.”

The office was crowded and clearly everyone looked distressed, so I returned to my car and turned on the radio. Once home, seeing the destruction and loss of life on television, the enormity of the situation settled in.

Like everyone else, I will never forget the scenes that played out over the next few days. Similar to when the Challenger exploded after lift-off, we kept watching the scenes repeat, hoping that the next time they ran the ending would be different. But the graphic scenes ended the same each time, one hundred sixty eight lives lost ~ thousands of lives affected.

I still regret the off-handed comment I made upon first learning of the bombing, but I realize now, I am probably the only one who remembers the words I said. Everyone else there had already been absorbed into the tragedy and their minds were busy trying to sort through the details of what had happened.

Before I close, I want to say I learned a valuable lesson during this time. Our oldest daughter was getting ready to go on a short term mission trip six weeks later. Her uncles, my brother-in-laws, were upset we were allowing (encouraging) Jenny to go. When praying about her upcoming trip, doubts would creep in and I would wonder if we were doing the right thing. Then it occurred to me, prior to April 19, not one of her five uncles would have batted an eye had she decided to stay in Oklahoma and accept a summer job there at the Murrah Building.

We are called to be wise, but we can’t allow fear to rule our lives. If we do, the enemy has already won.

Be sure and go by Real Housewives of Oklahoma and checkout the other posts linked to this question.



  1. I was cleaning the breakfast dishes in the kitchen sink, when a friend ran in my back door crying. "Turn on the tv, quick!", she wailed. As the two of us held one another sobbing in front of the television, I suddenly remembered my husband was working one street over from Murrah that day.

    Filled with a growing panic, I ran for the phone only to have it ring before I could reach it. It was Bob, assuring me he was emotionally shaken but physically fine. We both wept, thanking God for his mercy.

  2. Cheryl, you are on the ball with your link! Way to go!

    I have mine set to post at 6 a.m.

    "We are called to be wise, but we can’t allow fear to rule our lives. If we do, the enemy has already won." I'm coping that off on a index card and hanging it on my mirror. I need to be reminded of this daily. Thank you, it really it home.

    I'm looking forward to reading where everyone was at 9:03 April 19, 1995.

    ~Mrs. Albright

  3. Marla, I can't even imagine the panic that must have gripped your heart, realizing Bob was working in that area. PTL he was fine.

    Dawn, I tend to be here later at night, but not so much the first half of the day.;-)

    The safest place we can be is in God's will, where He calls us to be. If I can find the post, I'm going to send you a link.

    Have a good week.


  4. It was terrible! And I am so sorry that it was someone from Kansas!

  5. Cheryl - thank you so much for that quote (or is it your quote). I needed to hear this. My daughter Kayla is leaving in a few weeks for a mission trip to India. Details are sketchy and I have been letting fear consume me...thank you for reminding me that God is in control! Thanks my dear friend!

  6. You could of not said it better "We are called to be wise, but we can't allow fear to rule our lives. If we do, the enemy has aleardy won". God Bless everyone who was there that day and the people in Oklahoma City. HAVE A NICE MONDAY!!!

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  7. It is a great reminder that we can not let fear rule our lives.
    Great post. I remember the stunned silence everywhere.
    ~Mrs. Priss

  8. i was at home ... glued to the tv ... stunned silence ... the photograph of the fireman with the baby is forever etched in my mind ...

  9. How were we to know? Nothing like that happens in Oklahoma. Not where we live. We were not prepared. But, we did respond like the family WE are! Great post. Thanks for linking up. ♥Mrs. Hart♥

  10. Great post. I made a very ill timed remark one time years ago when several Texas Aggies were killed while building their stack of logs for a bonfire. I wish I could take it back. Hopefully nobody remembers me making it.

  11. Amen! Excellent post! :) Especially the conclusion!

  12. Thank you so much for sharing your story about that day 15 years ago, but like others who have commented, your phrase about letting fear rule our lives absolutely struck me. Thank you, thank you.

    ~~Mrs. Nesbitt

  13. I have really liked reading everyone's memories of that day - it helps me recall things that I had forgotten!! Your comment about fear is so important for us christians to remember even as decisions are made and we are living out those decisions - thank you for your honesty!!

  14. Seems like the OCB was the beginning of a string of hateful attacks in our country. What a sad day.

  15. "We are called to be wise, but we can’t allow fear to rule our lives. If we do, the enemy has already won." So true.

  16. Just stopped in from the Simple Woman's Daybook.

    On 4/19/95 I was doing front office work for an Arabian horse show in Arizona. An exhibitor came in and told us the news and from there we requested someone find out what, exactly, was going on. With in minutes we had details. That afternoon we shut down the show ring for a few minutes of respect and prayer. Who would have thought?


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