While the nation’s attention is focused on the unfolding events following Monday’s explosions at the Boston Marathon, Oklahoma City bombing survivors, victims’ family members and others gathered Friday morning for the annual remembrance of that disaster.
After 18 years, the service follows a routine: bag pipes, one second of silence for each of the 168 people who died, a few comments, and then the reading of the names of those killed in the blast.
About 800 people attended the service where Gov. Mary Fallin told them it was a day to remember those killed and to remember the emergency responders for their continued service to the community.
Gov. Fallin called on Oklahomans to stand by the people of Boston as they recover from Monday’s bombings.
“Oklahoma City, I think, is a beacon of hope,” Fallin said. “Not only to our state, but to the rest of the nation during a time of tragedy.”
“This week we’ve all been burdened by a lot of things that have gone on,” Fallin said. “Our hearts break for our fellow Americans, and especially those in Boston and the families who have suffered so much.”
“Our mission is nowhere complete,” Gary Pierson, chairman of the Oklahoma City National Memorial Foundation, said. “There is no more graphic reminder than that than the smoke rising from the finish line in Boston.”
Pierson said it’s crucial that the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum continue its work to provide both context and hope “where innocent people are targeted by violence.”