When the children cry, let them know we tried.

The Oklahoma City bombing was the biggest terrorist attack to happen on American soil prior to the tragedy of September 11, 2001. However, the Oklahoma City bombing was a domestic terrorist attack, which means that an American citizens staged an attack on his own country.  One hundred and sixty eight people were killed, and many more were injured. Of those killed, nineteen were children. The Murrah Federal Building contained a daycare center. Baylee Almon was a one year old child who was lost in the bombing. A picture of her being carried through the rubble by a firefighter won the Pulitzer Prize.

Charles Porter's photograph of firefighter Chris Fields holding the dying infant Baylee Almon won the Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography in 1996

Charles Porter’s photograph of firefighter Chris Fields holding the dying infant Baylee Almon won the Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography in 1996

I chose to write about the children who were victimized in the bombing for two reasons.  One, April is National Child Abuse Awareness month. Two, the children who were victimized would be around my age now, if they had survived. I was born in the summer of 1993 and the attack took place in April of 1995. These young children would be ending their senior year of high school, or attending their first or second year of college. They had their whole lives taken away from them by one man, who said he had no idea that children were in the building. If he had known, it may have given him “cause to switch targets” (“FBI: McVeigh knew children would be killed in OKC blast”. CNN. March 29, 2001.) These kids had barely started living before their lives abruptly ended. Three unborn children died along with their mothers.

At the Memorial, there is a field of chairs. There are 168 chairs for every person lost, and nineteen smaller chairs placed specifically for the children. The three unborn children’s names are listen on their mother’s chairs beneath their names. I can’t wait to see this in person.

Photograph of the Oklahoma City National Memorial as taken from the south observation area on 18 September 2004 by Dustin M. Ramsey.

Photograph of the Oklahoma City National Memorial as taken from the south observation area on 18 September 2004 by Dustin M. Ramsey.

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2 thoughts on “When the children cry, let them know we tried.

  1. There is a lot of interesting information about this picture in the museum. Also, you should try to see the Memorial at night when all the chairs are lit up.

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