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The other day I came across some old photos in my picture box my step-mother had sent me that brought back a lot of memories of the that terrible day of April 19, 1995. Dad had called me on the phone at about noon and left a message that someone had just bombed a building in downtown Oklahoma City earlier that morning. He lived in Yukon, Oklahoma with my step-mother who was the director of the Traveler’s Aid Society of Oklahoma which was about a block or so away from the Alfred P. Murrah federal building that was bombed. Dad said that he felt the blast some twenty miles away where he lived and the windows of the house rattled it was so powerful.
My step-mother, Gloria Smith, was fortunately out of the office that day. If she would have been in her office that day, she would have likely died since the windows were blown out from the blast and shards of glass were found impaled into her chair where she would have been sitting near the front. Part of the transmission from the Ryder truck used in the blast was found in the parking lot directly in front of the Traveler’s Aid building.
Nothing like that had ever happened in Oklahoma before. On that day, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols killed 168 innocent people and injured some 680 others with a massive bomb made from forty 50 lb bags of ammonium nitrate (fertilizer) and diesel fuel. Oklahoma would never be the same after that. The bomb was the equivalent of 5000 pounds of dynamite and registered about a 3.0 on the Richter scale. It was heard and felt some 50 miles away from the blast. It damaged 324 buildings and shattered glass in about 260 buildings.
The day before the blast suspects connected with the bombing had stopped into the Traveler’s Aid office to ask for gasoline vouchers. My step-mom had to confront them when they refused to give their driver’s license for identification and they then left in a huff after being very loud and arguing with her. She said they drove off in a Mercury Marquis car with no tag which was later identified as belonging to Timothy McVeigh. Two of the suspects who stopped in the office were identified as Melvin Lattimore ( Majahid Abdulquaadir Menepata) and James Rosecrans. She was later interviewed by the FBI some ten times and was later on a Fox News special on a five-minute segment detailing the account.
What a terrible day this was in Oklahoma. It just doesn’t make any sense! I am very glad though and thankful to the good LORD that my step-mom happened to be out of the office that day.