2016 Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon.

On April 19, 1995, lives were drastically changed forever. Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols carried out a horrific attack on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City. I can remember watching the news coverage with my family. I was 6-years-old and living in my hometown of Apple Valley, CA. I was young and confused. Years passed and I never put a lot of thought into the incident again.

In 2009 my husband and I received news that we were getting stationed at Tinker AFB in Oklahoma. Each year I watched the marathon from the comfort of our home. In 2015, we finally decided to participate. My husband completed the 5k and I ran the 1.2 mile Kids Marathon with our daughter who was 2-years-old at the time (She ran the entire 1.2 miles!). We had such a great experience in 2015, we decided we would continue to participate each year that we live in Oklahoma City. This year my husband completed the full marathon (26.2 miles) and my daughter and I once again completed the 1.2 mile Kids Marathon.

On Saturday (the day before race day), we visited the Memorial Museum for the first time. Anyone who participates in the marathon receives free tickets to visit the museum. We had been to the outdoor portion of the museum many times, but this was our first time inside. I wasn’t sure what to expect upon entering. The first portion of the museum was interesting, but nothing compared to the second portion of the museum. We entered a room where we listened to a hearing being conducted at the Oklahoma Water Resources building next door — during the hearing, you hear the bombing occur. It was horrific and heart wrenching. I cannot even begin to fathom what it was like to physically be in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995.

After the recording, we entered another portion of the museum where we were able to see personal belongings collected from those who lost their lives and from those who survived. I don’t believe there is a single word that can explain how terrible this act of terrorism was. Walking around the remainder of the museum was very difficult for me. I felt sick to my stomach.

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