In April 1995, my daughter wasn't quite a month old and I remember sitting in front of the TV holding her and weeping at the footage. I couldn't believe then (and still can't) that a fellow American could do something so horrific.
The mother of one of the victims compiled essays from survivors and families of victims - their view of the bombing and the aftermath. This book was published before the end of Timothy McVeigh's trial and I expected to read a lot of essays about how much people hated him, yet only one essay even mentions his name. It was difficult to read and at the same time, the essays where people have picked themselves up and continued to live were so uplifting. I hope that I never find myself in such a situation, but it's comforting to know that people do make it through.
As an aside, I had to go to Oklahoma City in September 2007 for a work training session. A group of us went over to the Memorial after the session was over on a Thursday night. The site is amazingly peaceful. It was dusk and the sun was streaming through the trees and the bases of the chairs - so beautiful. I was marveling at the ability of Oklahoma City to create something so amazing out of the devastation when I saw a birthday balloon attached to one of the children's chairs. My heart broke.
This book gives 81 first-hand accounts of suvivors as well as families of those who lost their lives in this terrorist attack of the Alfred P. Murrah Feberal Building - that was reduced to rubble in the matter of minutes. I know when I thought of the OK city bombing ... I knew it was a terrest bombing ... but not until I read this book did the people involved bacome real people. As I read (and cried) over the accounts ...I came to know these people and what they lived through will have a permanent place in my thinking.