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168 empty chairs

Calm and peace and innocence were shattered at 9:02 am on April 19, 1995. It was a Wednesday. Employees, and children who attended the on-site daycare center, inside the Alfred Murrah Federal Building were surely busy doing their Wednesday things, right up until the moment an explosive-filled truck exploded just outside the building.

One hundred sixty eight people were killed; 19 of them were children at the daycare center.

The Oklahoma City National Memorial is on the site of the attack, and the Field of Chairs commemorates those lost that day. The chair here, in the foreground, represents Carol Louise Bowers; she was 55 years old and was on operations supervisor at the Social Security Administration. Accounts state that she would always answer the phone with “a happy voice” and her relative recounted that she was the “kind of person who …spread joy everywhere she went.”

(I would encourage you to go to the Field of Empty Chairs page to learn more about Carol and to see the layout of the chairs in this thoughtful and well-designed memorial.)

Oklahoma City National Memorial
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
photographed 11.25.2021

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