Twenty-two years ago today, at 9:02 AM, a homemade bomb exploded at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, OK. The bomb killed 168 people, which included 19 children. The attack at the time was the worst terrorist attack on American soil until 9/11.

Every single year, us in Oklahoma City remember this tragic attack at the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum. Survivors and family members of the victims decorate the beautiful chairs that adorn the memorial, one for each victim.

I did not live in OKC at the time, but the city has become my home and trust me, you do not have to be from around here to have it affect you.

168 Seconds of Silence

At 9:02AM, the memorial observes 168 seconds of silence.

Ben Carson

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson arrived in OKC yesterday and toured the museum. The bomb killed 35 HUD employees.

Carson left a note on every HUD employee’s chair.

Carson also spoke at the memorial service:

He became very emotional as he spoke. Carson considers the memorial a national memorial because it affected the entire country. He mentioned that HUD in D.C. has a garden and memorial to honor those who died, including the children.

Carson encouraged people to make America the one those who died would appreciate calling home. Will we become the compassionate country and the one that lends a helping hand? Or will we become the nation that listens to those who preach hate, obviously referring to Timothy McVeigh, the man who committed this terrorist attack?

He also explained how HUD has taken steps by not only placing a roof over a person but nurturing them to guide them on a different route from McVeigh.

James Lankford

Senator James Lankford (R-OK) spent a few minutes at the microphone:

Lankford reminded everyone that God remains with us and every time we come to pray together, we are reminded that evil does not win.

He also acknowledged that the attack forever changed Oklahoma City that day, but remains impressed how the city continues to rejuvenate and works every day to make sure the attack is not forgotten along with the victims.

The Victims

One of the hardest parts of the ceremony? Listening to people read out the names of the victims, especially when they announce the names of the children who died and the pregnant females with the names of their unborn child.

Other Reactions

Former President Bill Clinton usually visits OKC on April 19. He didn’t today, but still tweeted about it.

This image remains on the neighboring building, written by a first response team.

Please do not ever forget.

[Featured image via Twitter]