Destroyed on April 19, 1995 by a fertilizer and diesel fuel bomb built by Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols to protest the federal government--in particular, their handling of the Branch Davidian group at Waco, Ruby Ridge and other such movements. It was a typical federal office building--housing agencies like Social Security, Medicare, some FBI agents, things like that.

Nearly 200 people died, many children who were in the day care center in the building. Many more were injured, and a bit of innocence was taken from Oklahoma City and the entire country when we realized that this could have happened anywhere, to anyone, for any reason.

The building was unsalvageable and was razed completely a few days after the bombing. Five years after the bombing, a memorial was dedicated on the building site--with 168 empty chairs representing the dead, a reflecting pool and a museum.

Before that, however, there was an empty field with a chain link fence around it. Along the fence were ad-hoc memorials for those who had died in the blast--photos, flowers, poems, personal items, attached to the fence, laying in front of it, scattered about--a display of grief and loss among the most profound I've seen. I haven't been to the memorial yet, and it's my understanding many of these mementos will be there, as well as a place for these memorials to continue, but the emotional impact of what was there before will be hard to recreate. It's now just a memory, like the building itself and the previous lives of all affected by the tragedy.

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