28 Years Later: Son Of Murrah Bombing Victim Remembers His Mother

Nick Chafey was only four years old when his mom was killed in the Murrah building bombing. Snapshots, pictures in an album, of important moments are all he knows of her.

Wednesday, April 5th 2023, 10:24 pm

By: Karl Torp


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Every April in Oklahoma City, we keep our promise to never forget the victims, survivors and those changed forever by the Murrah building bombing. We pause on April 19th to honor them. Then a few days later, thousands of people from every state in the US, and countries around the world run to remember them.

All this month leading up to the Memorial Marathon we're talking with runners, organizers and the volunteers about why this race is so important.

Nick Chafey was only four years old when his mom was killed in the Murrah building bombing. Snapshots, pictures in an album, of important moments are all he knows of her.

“I always think what life could be like with my mom in the picture,” he tells us.

Growing up, Nick knew his mom died in a terrible way. But his family kept him sheltered from the horror of the bombing.

“Seemed like it was always the elephant in the room," Chafey said. "I knew this major event happened, but I always felt distant from my family.”

Then we he was in high school, curiosity drew him to the Oklahoma City National Memorial for the first time.

“God I did not know how hard that was going to be. And in a way that felt traumatic just because what I saw I’ve never seen before,” he recalls.

Yet Nick began to feel a connection to the tragedy he hadn't known before. His aunt also saved a trove of newspaper articles and memorabilia that she gave Nick. The memorial he once saw as place of peace now part of a bigger picture.

“It makes me see that place more of what it was, not what it is.”

As a young adult, Nick began participating in the marathon, running the half and the relay.

And now, a trainer for Mustang Public Schools, he's part of the medical team for the race.

“For me to be able to come on course and use my skill set gives me purpose in a way.”

This year he'll be working at one of the on course medical stations.

As a kid, Nick says sports helped him escape what happened to his mother. Now, he believes it's bringing him closer to her.

“I just don't have many memories of the bombing or that moment and things like working the marathon or just being involved in general as a way for me to develop memories or create positive memories for the event and my mom.” 

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