Remembering the Oklahoma City bombing - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Remembering the Oklahoma City bombing

Amarillo, TX - April 19th marks the 17th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing.

In Amarillo, crews played a big role by offering relief in the attack. The morning after the explosion, local Red Cross worker, George Parr, was in Oklahoma City. That is when the gravity of the situation started setting in. It was one of the biggest attacks on American soil.

"People were running around everywhere and it was a big disaster, one of the biggest ones I had seen," local red cross responder, George Parr, said. "It was different. I mean, it wasn't like a tornado, flood or a fire."

A car bomb went off outside the Alfred P. Murrah building claiming 168 lives. Plumes of thick, black smoke filled the sky.

"I remember the smell and, like I said, it was unusual," Parr said. "I haven't smelled anything like that but I would imagine your mind wanders and you think, you know it's from the decontamination of all the decomposing bodies, I guess, in the building that are under all the rubble and, uh, that's what stands out the most."

People were scrambling to offer help. There were piles of debris.

"It was just covered you couldn't walk without stepping on a piece of glass and I thought that was a pretty good pop they had there and then when I looked at the building it was, it was really surprising to see how much damage was done," Parr said.

People were in shock, trying to piece together what had happened.

"I would see all the people that were coming in to the resting area to get something to eat or some of them would just sit at a table and stare off into nothing," Parr said. "You know... you can only imagine what was going on in their minds."

The person blamed for the attack was decorated army veteran, Timothy McVeigh. He was upset with the government.

"I hope he didn't know, exactly what he was doing that he didn't know he was going to," Parr said. "That's not right. I don't know."

McVeigh was later convicted and executed for the crime. Although the attack was devastating, it acted as a catalyst. It is a reminder of what it means to come together as a community, as a nation, no matter the situation.

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