OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A quarter of a century ago, countless lives were changed forever after the Oklahoma City bombings. On Sunday, the city remembered the tragedy a little differently than in years past — virtually.
The Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum produced a Remembrance Ceremony video.
Across from the federal building, where the bombing happened 25 years ago, stands St. Joseph Old Cathedral – parts of which were shattered during the attack.
“This church was badly damaged in the bombing. [The windows] were blown out, and they had to be reconstructed. They had to find photographs to try to reproduce them as well as they could,” Archbishop Paul Coakley said.
Coakley held a livestreamed Mass of Remembrance two days before the 25th anniversary to honor the victims and the survivors.
“I’m grateful for the technology that enables us to livestream the liturgy and the mass all over the world, but there’s a great longing for the people to come together,” Coakley said.
Even in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, lessons from that day 25 years ago still stick.
“The city has moved on from the bombing stronger, and we’re now enduring this pandemic, and I think gives us confidence that we will move beyond this,” Coakley said.
During Sunday’s virtual ceremony, the names of the 168 victims were read aloud to honor them, as is tradition.
“COVID-19, 9/11, the bombing, these are all similarly shared experiences along this journey we call life,” Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt said in the video. “In the wake of such events, what matters is that we take lessons from them and emerge wiser and more prepared to face similar challenges ahead.”