Relatives, Survivors Pay Tribute to Oklahoma City Bomb Victims

From Associated Press

Church bells chiming “Amazing Grace” ended 168 seconds of silence Thursday, one second for each of the victims of the Oklahoma City bombing six years ago.

Relatives of the victims gathered for prayer and reflection at the Oklahoma City National Memorial, where the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building once was. There were no dignitaries or choirs this year, mainly just victims’ relatives and survivors of the 1995 blast.

“It was just those who needed to be here today,” said Kathleen Treanor, whose in-laws and 4-year-old daughter were killed in the Social Security Administration office inside the building. “It was very intimate. It was very personal.”


Treanor wore a button with a picture of her daughter, Ashley Eckles, holding a chocolate bunny.

Families had requested a low-key, simple ceremony.

“Your loved ones have not been forgotten, and the memorial is a fitting tribute to assure that they never will be,” said Bob Johnson, chairman of the Oklahoma City National Memorial Trust.

Families of the victims gathered under the “Survivor Tree,” an American elm that lived through the bombing.

Many clutched bouquets of flowers or stuffed animals, then placed them on statues of chairs, one for each of the victims.

Timothy J. McVeigh is scheduled to be executed May 16 at a federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind., for the bombing.