On Wednesday, April 19, 1995 in the morning, I was living in Bella Vista, Arkansas. I had already taken Brian and Melissa to school and was back home having coffee when my phone rang. It was my mom, and the first words out of her mouth after I answered the phone were, “I just want to let you know, when you see the news, your sister is OK.” My heart instantly started racing. Now mind you, I was in the next state, about 250 miles away. I wondered, why would my mom think that when I watched the news in Arkansas I might be concerned for my sister? As far as I knew, there wasn’t any bad weather expected. The only thing that came to mind was that a multi-car accident must have happened on I-40. That is when my mom explained to me that at 9:02 a.m. the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City had been bombed. But, my sister didn’t work in or near that building. She worked a few miles away. The bombing was so strong, that it blew her office doors open and they didn’t even face downtown. That is how strong the blast was.
Today marks the 20th anniversary of that terrible day. But it also hi lights the strength, compassion and determination of the people of the state of Oklahoma where I was born and where my heart lies. this strength, compassion and determination has been coined, “Oklahoma Standard”. It is a standard by which the Oklahoma people live, love and thrive. It is the never ending resilience of a community of people who time and time again pick themselves up and continue on, whether it is after this terrible domestic terrorist event remembered today, or after the unfathomable destruction of an F5 tornado.
I would hope that I never receive another phone call like that. But if I do, I have the comfort to know that if it is regarding something in Oklahoma, I can count on the “Oklahoma Standard”.