OKC bombing day care survivor graduates

Tuesday, May 13th 2008, 10:44 am
By: News 9

By Audrey Esther and Darren Brown, News9.com INsite Team

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Christopher Nguyen is a survivor. He's one of six children who survived the Murrah Federal Building bombing 13 years ago, and the first to graduate from high school.

Nineteen other children perished that day inside America's Kids Child Development Center in downtown Oklahoma City. The final death toll reached 168.

"We are the result of a miracle I might say, because it's a miracle we're alive," said Nguyen, 18, a popular straight "A" student at Bishop McGuinness High School in Oklahoma City.

On April 19, 1995, four-year-old Nguyen was inside a bathroom at 9:02 a.m. when the truck bomb detonated. Rescuers pulled him from the rubble and he remained hospitalized for a month following the blast.

"I try to avoid thinking about it in some ways, but obviously on the anniversary, April 19th, I think about it pretty much all day," he said.

Today, Nguyen will be focused on his high school graduation.

"I think it's a big moment for all of us and for all of our parents, not just mine; but for all the other survivors," he said.

Nguyen will attend the University of Oklahoma this fall and plans to work someday as a consultant. Even though he is now looking toward his future he said he can never forget the past.

"I think it's pretty much impossible to not be in contact with them," Nguyen said of the other five child survivors. "We're connected one way or another and that connection is so firm and strong that nothing can really break that."

Nguyen said he remembers little about the bombing and the long recovery that followed, but his parents said the vivid details of that day are unforgettable.

"We always think about the other children that couldn't have made it and we cannot imagine how they (their parents) feel," his mother Phuong Nguyen said.

However, now is a time of celebration, she said, and offered this advice to her son: "Live your life in fullness and move forward, for yourself and for the ones who love you and support you."