Bombing survivors vividly recall the tragedy & resilience 24 years later
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla -- This time every year, Anetta Bullock can’t help but reflect. Describing the Memorial, “It’s like a masterpiece. It’s all the components of that day in this one place. It’s very representative of that day.” said Bullock.
The peacefulness she finds here is a sharp contrast to this day 24 years ago. April 19th, 1995. Bullock had an office on the third floor of the Journal Record Building. Bullock said, “We were very close. We were about as close as you can get to the bombing without being in the building.”
Anetta was an administrative assistant for the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. It was a routine morning until 9:02am. That’s the moment a massive homemade bomb, hidden in a rental truck, exploded. According to Bullock, “After I felt the concussion of the bomb and things started falling in on top of me, things collapsing, you could hear pancaking of the Murrah Building. Initially we thought it was a gas leak, gas explosion. Well, who would have ever imagined. Who would have thought something like this would happen in Oklahoma?”
Annetta and her coworkers navigated a maze of strewn furniture and collapsed ceiling to escape.
Colleague, Fran Ferrari was badly injured. Bullock said, “She was screaming. She couldn’t see because of the glass embedded in her eyes, broke her jaw and her teeth were cracked -- a bunch of teeth.”
Ferrari was bloody and buried under debris, until a mystery man appeared out of nowhere to help. Bullock recalled, “We found a chair, just a regular chair and put her in that. We dubbed her the chair lady because we carried her out in a chair. We have no idea where he came from. Never saw him in the building before. He came along right at the right time.”
Her visits back to the memorial are less frequent but always poignant. She remembers the 168 victims.
It’s still incomprehensible. “It’s very sad. It’s so senseless. To have someone with such a morbid soul that they could do something like that. You hate to think there are people in the world who can do something like that, but working in corrections you know there are people like that.” Said Bullock.
Anetta Bullock is a survivor – like Oklahoma City, forever touched by the events of April 19th. She said, “It’s changed me. It’s made me a stronger person. I come down just to remember that day and be thankful that I’m still here.”