Families of lost loved ones in OKC bombing celebrate friendships made in 22 years

Posted at 2:14 PM, Apr 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-19 15:14:03-04

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -- It happened on a regular Wednesday.

But as the nation watched, April 19th, 1995 changed Oklahoma forever.

Wednesday – 22 years later – the state paid tribute to the 168 people who lost their lives when the Murrah Federal Building was bombed in Oklahoma City.

“The first few, I don't remember. I just don't,” said Oklahoma City native Eva Bloomer.

Year after year, Bloomer pays tribute to a father whose death sent shockwaves that still resonate today.

“He was an Okie...just a really nice guy. He told really bad jokes...not dirty jokes. Bad jokes,” she said.

She's been to every single memorial, listening to every name called and comforted by those who've made the same journey.

“Perhaps we can find a way to change the tide,” she said.

Out of the ashes of the building that once stood, something emerged that no one could forget.

Wednesday, Ben Carson and Mary Fallin honored it and promoted it.

But it's the survivors and loved ones of those who died who know firsthand what it's like to be touched by the original Oklahoma Standard.

“I've got Oklahoma in me now...since all the people I've met have made me feel so comfortable being here,” said Rudy Guzman.

Guzman travels from California every year in honor of his brother, Randy – a Marine Captain stationed in Oklahoma City just before the bombing.

“I mean, it's tough being here, yet there's many people I've met through the years I'd like to see and give that hug. And all those hugs count,” he said.

It's a camaraderie born out of grief that's reunited every year in a city that will never forget and never stop healing.

“You learn every year of the things you've lost. There's questions that I'll never have answered because I don't have my dad to ask those questions,” said Bloomer. “Something like this should never happen again.”