Bikers Place Wreath At OKC National Memorial
OKLAHOMA CITY - At Southern Hills Baptist Church, dozens of bikers drove to services on two wheels, 20 years later, to honor the victims of the Oklahoma City bombing.
Headlights shined and motorcycle engines purred into the parking lot of the church Sunday morning on the city's south side, where bikers wore their boots and leather to make a statement.
“To make a statement that we as bikers, we as Christians, we as Oklahomans remember and we'll never forget,” Gary Stell said.
They'll never forget where they were on April 19, 1995.
“Sat down in my office, leaned back against the wall and was immediately shooken [sic],” Stell said.
“The administrator was coming down the hall saying someone blew up the federal building in Oklahoma City,” said Randall Medley.
And 20 years later, they'll never forget what they saw.
“The people that were walking out from the buildings all bloody from the glass that had broken from every building around…it was horrific,” Stell added.
Associate Pastor Ruffin Snow said a prayer for those who still struggle with those memories and the loss of their loved ones. He was a chaplain to families who waited for information while emergency crews tried to rescue their loved ones from the rubble.
“It was just…so heartbreaking. That thing was so heartbreaking,” Snow said.
Many of the bikers at church Sunday morning were directly connected to someone in that building or to someone who was there to help that day.
“Without me where I was, they couldn't be where they were,” said Medley, who worked at a hospital in Shawnee at the time of the bombing.
After a meal, the bikers rode to the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum to place a wreath on the lawn and pause for a moment of silence for the people impacted. Some of the bikers said this anniversary was spent feeling bittersweet, remembering the grief and sorrow, and living their new lives by the Oklahoma Standard.
“We're very proud that there is an Oklahoma Standard and that we all adhere to that,” Stell said.