Denton County Sheriff Will Travis will be attending the Memorial Ceremonies for the Anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing on Saturday and Sunday. As a DEA agent at the time, he was one of the agents assigned to help with the recovery from this tragic event.
Sheriff Travis was among the first to see the devastation at the sight, and to this day, he chokes up when he speaks of the destruction and loss of human life, especially the children.
April 19, 1995, saw the bombing outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, which left 168 people dead and hundreds more injured. The bomb was set by anti-government militant Timothy McVeigh, who was executed in 2001 and his co-conspirator, Terry Nichols, who received life in prison. The Oklahoma City bombing was the worst terrorist attack to take place on U.S. soil prior to September 11, 2001.
The Oklahoma Memorial and Museum will host a reunion on April 18th 2015 for a gathering of Family Members, Survivors, Rescue Workers, Investigators, and Law Enforcement Officers who worked the bombing and its aftermath. This will be followed on the 19th by the 20th Anniversary Remembrance Ceremony. As in years past, 168 seconds of silence will be observed at 9:02 a.m., followed by a program of hope and healing honoring the spirit of community became apparent in the days following the bombing.
Sheriff Travis had this to say about that day, “You can’t even fathom walking around the corner and seeing this building that’s been cratered. I can’t even describe how horrible it was when we walked around that corner. We threw on our Raid jackets and hard hats, and we dug and dug and dug. I don’t recall coming out for two days. Every time you moved another rock, you found something else.
“The hardest thing was the kids, and knowing they would never see their parents again. It was just hard on all of us, but we’d told the families we wouldn’t come out until we found all of our people. It took six or seven days, but we got them all out. Then we started working on funeral arrangements for them. Just to see the building and the damage was devastating.”
Sandi Brackeen is the public information officer for the Denton County Sheriff’s Office.