Oklahomans honor victims of terrorist attack

Saturday, September 11th 2004, 6:15 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ With flags at half-staff, Oklahomans joined the nation remembering those killed in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

For Kelly Crow, a former Oklahoman, now working as a free lance writer in New York City, the clear, cloudless skies still gives her an uneasy feeling.

That's what the sky looked like on Sept. 11 when 19 militants from the Middle East hijacked four passenger airplanes and used them to kill more than 2,900 people at the World Trade and in Washington.

``If you look out, there's a not a cloud in the sky. It's crystal blue,'' Crow said. ``That kind of day makes me nervous now. It didn't used to.''

``Now that I think about it, April 19 was like that too.''

Crow covered the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building as a reporter for the Edmond Sun and had friends whose father's were killed in the bombing.

Now as a New Yorker she was experiencing it again.

``I remember that gut-wrenching feeling. Almost immediately, my first thought was Oklahoma City,'' Crow told The Oklahoman.

Across the nation, communities held events Saturday to remember the victims of Sept. 11.

In Oklahoma City, the day's events began with a concert from the Air Force's Shades of Blue, jazz ensemble, under the Survivor Tree at the Oklahoma City National Memorial.

Officials from nearby Tinker Air Force Base also attended the concert, which was meant to remember the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building and honor the military, said Kari Watkins, executive director of the memorial.

The bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building killed 168 people when a Ryder truck packed with explosive detonated in front of the building.

Some Oklahomans, many bombing survivors or family of victims, felt a special kinship with New Yorkers after the attacks.

Watkins said many Oklahomans had traveled to New York to attend anniversary ceremonies this weekend or to support victim's families with whom they may have formed a relationship.

Oklahoma native David Rice, was killed as a plane went through the second tower of the World Trade Center where he worked as an investment banker on the 104th floor.

His brother Andrew Rice was expected to speak at a ``Circle of Hope'' remembrance ceremony at the Oklahoma City National Memorial Saturday evening.

An interfaith prayer service at the Episcopal Center and candlelight procession through downtown were also scheduled.