HUD Employees Remembered At OKC National Memorial Ceremony
OKLAHOMA CITY - Twenty-two years after the tragedy at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, survivors and families of those who died remembered April 19, 1995.
On Wednesday, with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Dr. Ben Carson speaking, the 35 HUD employees who lost their lives 22 years ago were given special recognition.
Francis “Fran” Ann Williams had worked at HUD for eight years.
“I know a lot of moms but she was the best mom that I’ve ever met,” said her son Matt Story. “I was blessed to be raised by her.”
Williams was one of the 35 HUD employees who just went to work one day and didn't make it home.
“Last night, I was thinking in bed, thinking 22 years ago tonight was the last time I talked to her,” said William’s daughter Dawn Mahan-Fuller.
Story and Mahan-Fuller read the names of the HUD employees on the eighth floor who died.
“This one seems harder than the 20th (anniversary),” said Story.
The agency suffered the greatest loss of life in the bombing. Carson toured the memorial Tuesday and laid cards on the chair of every former HUD employee.
“We lost 35 of our brothers and sisters who dedicated their lives to helping other Americans,” said Carson during Wednesday’s remembrance ceremony.
The HUD secretary asked everyone how we will remember those employees.
“We must stop the hatred and strife and recognize that the strength of America is our unity,” he said.
For Luciann Witthorne, who worked with Williams and the others, but had business out of the office that Wednesday, the answer is easy: with love.
“I promised my fellow friends and co-workers I would be here every year unless I couldn’t make it,” Witthorne said.
Following Wednesday's ceremony, Carson met with family members of the HUD employees killed and HUD survivors in a private reception.