By Conrad Dudderar
With the 25th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing in April, Yukon residents and city leaders this week remembered six Yukon residents who lost their lives in the domestic terrorist act.
April 19 will be the 25th anniversary of the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City that left 168 people dead and thousands of lives changed forever.
The Yukon City Council, at its Tuesday night meeting inside the Centennial Building, honored the memories of six “beloved citizens” lost in the bombing: Richard A. Allen, Carol Louise Bowers, Larry James Jones, Lanny Lee David Scroggins, Michael George Thompson, and John A. Youngblood.
City of Yukon leaders, by proclamation, have vowed to work to continue these six residents’ “legacy of love and service to community.”
“The City of Oklahoma City and the State of Oklahoma and her citizens have shown remarkable compassion, resiliency and unity in the wake of this tragedy; and those qualities continue to this day in the form of service, honor and kindness, also known as the ‘Oklahoma Standard’,” said Yukon Mayor Mike McEachern, reading from the proclamation.
The City of Yukon has partnered with the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum to mark the 25th anniversary of the bombing and honor the six Yukon citizens killed.
Yukon resident Dennis Purifoy, accepting the proclamation on behalf of the Oklahoma City Memorial, was a survivor who worked on the first floor Social Security Administration office. He is a member of the Memorial’s Conscientious Committee.
“I worked with three of the people in Yukon who perished in the bombing,” Purifoy said. “This is a “Year of Remembrance’. Remembering sometimes takes some attention. Sometimes memories come to us when we don’t want them to, but sometimes we need to intentionally remember. So this is very meaningful and I appreciate it very much.”
Mayor McEachern recalled when the Murrah Federal Building was bombed 25 years ago. He was sitting at his desk at work in the 7000 block of W Reno – more than 12 miles away – when it happened.
The April 1995 OKC bombing “reminds us of the bad things that are out there,” Yukon’s mayor said.
“I remember that instant, when it went off and shook the windows in our building,” McEachern said. “It didn’t seem like 25 years ago, but I still remember it today.”
‘YEAR OF REMEMBRANCE’
The Yukon City Council proclaimed 2020 as a “Year of Remembrance” at this week’s council meeting.
“The events of April 19, 1995 changed Oklahoma and our nation forever but by looking back to the example set in those decisive days, we can think forward to a better future for the generations that follow,” according to the City of Yukon proclamation presented Tuesday night.
Mayor McEachern signed and read aloud the proclamation, which describes the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum as a “beautiful and moving tribute to the memory of this event, its victims, survivors and first responders.”
Other Yukon city leaders joined the mayor in recognizing those impacted by the events of 25 years ago.
“It was an honor for our city to issue the proclamation for all those directly affected by the Murrah Bombing,” Vice Mayor Donna Yanda said. “All the families and loved ones that were affected will never be forgotten.”
Ward 2 City Council Member Shelli Selby said the tragic events of April 19, 1995 was a “time in our past – but one that we need not forget.”
The Oklahoma City Memorial & Museum sit on the site of the former Murrah Building to ensure the memory of the April 1995 tragedy will not be forgotten and to help prevent a repeat of such an event, according to the City of Yukon proclamation.
Yukon residents are encouraged to visit the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum to honor all the lives lost and everyone who was affected by the bombing, and to recognize first responders for their service.
The mission statement is, “We come here to remember those who were killed, those who survived and those changed forever. May all who leave here know the impact of violence. May this memorial offer comfort, strength, peace, hope, and serenity.”