By Bobby Ross Jr.
At 9:02 a.m. on April 19, 1995, I had just stepped off The Oklahoman’s eighth-floor newsroom elevator when we heard the boom and saw the smoke in the distance.
In all, 168 people died in the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City — the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil until 9/11 six years later.
Twenty years ago today, my Oklahoman colleagues and I found ourselves covering the biggest story of our lives, even as we joined our grieving community in shedding tears over an unfathomable tragedy.
I was blessed to tell many stories of victims and survivors. Here are links to seven of the most memorable:
Thirteen-year-old Ricky Hill and his brother Jonathan, 11, waited up late Wednesday hoping to hear from their mother.
Even as they drifted off to sleep, they clung to hope that Army recruiter Lola Renee Bolden, a 40-year-old single parent, had survived a thunderous bomb blast.
But her call never came.
The boys’ distress turned into a real-life nightmare about 1 a.m. Thursday.
That’s when three men and a woman, all clad in their best Army green, arrived at the door with the horrible news.
Neighbor Mechelle Murray, a single parent with children herself, had taken in the next-door neighbor boys when their mother failed to return home.
Even while calming Ricky and Jonathan, Murray had feared the worst.
“I immediately thought, ‘Oh my God, Renee works in that building,’ ” the 38-year-old accounting student said of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.