Yukon Mayor Michael McEachern felt the deadly blast, and he saw and heard the glass shake in the windows about 25 miles away from the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building almost 25 years ago.
On April 19, 1995, an act of domestic terrorism in Oklahoma City took 168 lives, including six people from Yukon.
McEachern announced at a Tuesday city council meeting that 2020 has been proclaimed as “The Year of Remembrance,” and he brought Yukon’s own bombing survivor to accept the proclamation on behalf of the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum.
Yukon resident Dennis Purifoy works for the Social Security Administration, and survived the blast working on the first floor of the Murrah Building.
He lost co-workers that day.
“Dennis is a Yukon citizen who is a survivor from the Social Security office on the first floor who is a member of the Memorial Conscientious Committee,” McEachern said.
McEachern read from the proclamation at the meeting.
“168 were killed, hundreds survived and thousands were changed forever.”
The proclamation also honors “the Oklahoma standard,” referring to the response afterward and through the years since the tragedy.
McEachern read the names of those who died from Yukon.
They included Richard A. Allen, Carol Louise Bowers, Larry James Jones, Lanny Lee David Scroggins, Michael George Thompson, John A. Youngblood.
McEachern said it “doesn’t seem like 25 years,” since the bombing, and he said the proclamation continues a legacy of love and community.
Purifoy thanked the council for “this beautiful proclamation.”
“I worked with three of the people in Yukon who perished in the bombing and I will be glad to pass this news of this on,” Purifoy said.
“This is a year of remembrance, and remembering sometimes takes some attention. Sometimes memories come to us when we don’t want them to. But sometimes we need to intentionally remember,” Purifoy said.
“So this is very meaningful and I appreciate it very much. So, thanks again,” Purifoy said.
In comments afterward Vice Mayor Donna Yanda added, “It was an honor by our city to issue the proclamation. All of our loved ones will never be forgotten.”