By MARKWAYNE MULLIN
This month, Oklahomans will mark the 20th anniversary of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.
Collectively we will remember the act of domestic terrorism that occurred right here in our state on April 19, 1995, and claimed the lives of 168 fellow Oklahomans.
We will not only grieve the loss of many innocent adults and children, but we will also give thanks for the first responders and the volunteers from Oklahoma and across the country that helped in the aftermath.
From that tragedy, our state was forever changed. Out of something so brutal, Oklahomans have forged something truly beautiful – the Oklahoma Standard.
The Oklahoma Standard is a symbol to the world of how Oklahomans selflessly rally together as one community in times of need. The Oklahoma Standard reflects the best of who we are as Oklahomans.
We continue to see the Oklahoma Standard in action, most notably in the wake of the severe storms that devastate communities like Moore, Quapaw and more recently in Sand Springs.
The Oklahoma Standard is also present at other less visible times, like a fire that destroys a neighbor’s home and barn, or when a community rallies around a sick child and their family to help defray medical expenses. The Oklahoma Standard is often applied when someone’s loved one passes away and their refrigerator is packed with food by caring people who seek to make life just a little easier for the affected person.
This month, Oklahomans have been asked to renew our commitment to the Oklahoma Standard and to perform an act of service, an act of honor and an act of kindness.
What a beautiful way to honor the memory of each victim and the efforts of every first responder and volunteer.
It is my hope that as a state, we continue to teach the Oklahoma Standard to future generations. We cannot let the call of service, honor and kindness die out with those of us who remember where we were on the morning the truck-bomb exploded outside the Murrah Building.
Let us make a commitment to ensure our children also understand the importance of the Oklahoma Standard and how it makes our state stronger every time we employ it.
As an enduring tribute to the victims, survivors and first responders from the building that once stood in downtown Oklahoma City, may we also live out the Oklahoma Standard every day in our own lives.