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Reliving the Oklahoma City Blast

   (Newscast from September 11) "Suddenly we heard a big bang and then we saw smoke coming out, the heigh of the Pentagon is gone…the United States will hunt down and punish those responsible…"

On September 11, I was getting ready to go to work. The minute I turned the television on, there was some reliving Oklahoma City. People running down the street in crisis and after watching coverage all day on September 11, I knew I had to go to New York.

I did make a call to find out if anything was in the works, to get some of the other Oklahoma City families to New York. And six weeks later I was in New York.

A Sad Bond

We're having dinner at John's Pizza in Manhattan. I met Anthony Gardener who lost his brother Harvey in the World Trade Center. Anthony has organized this family exchange between Oklahoma City families and New York families.

One of the topics that came up during the dinner was the compensation fund that some of the New York families are being offered and Anthony certainly had a few words to say about that.


(Anthony) "The wrong information was out there. The press kept saying that every family was going to get $1.65 million. We were getting hate mail. I had a woman who told me to go f-myself, that my brother would be ashamed of me.

  Anthony Gardener organized the exchange of Oklahoma City and World Trade Center families which brought Kay to New York in March of 2002. Anthony lost his brother Harvey in the World Trade Center on 9/11, and he founded the World Trade Center United Family Group. Photo: Kay Fulton
(New York woman) "And these again, these are people who, they're not families themselves."

(2nd NY woman) "They're just outside people."

(Oklahoma City man) "The day that it happened, September 11-it affected every one of us from Oklahoma City the same way it did you guys."

(Anthony) "It brought everything back."

(OKC man) "It brought every dang thing back."

(NY woman) "Absolutely!"

(OKC man) "And it never goes away. That's what we're trying to teach you guys. It don't go away. It's better, but you learn to live with it."

 Kay (far right) posing with the other Oklahoma City family members who went to New York as part of the exchange program. Also pictured (from left to right) Paul Howell, Dorris Jones, Ken Thompson, and Janet Walker. Photo: Kay Fulton

This is my last night in New York. It's Thursday night and I guess it's probably about 7:30 p.m. Being here, you know, there was such a nice bond—a sad bond, but there was no need to say anything. These people just immediately came right to you, hugged us and just started talking about their loss and the people who were gone out of their lives because of what happened. Just to have someone there who has been in a similar position is, somehow comforting. It was for me when Victoria Cummock was there for us, and Victoria lost her husband on Pan Am 103. And some of those people they would just come up and touch us and say thank you so much for being here and they were as sorry for our loss as we were for theirs.

Next: Another Anniversary

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