Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and USDA employees today marked the 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing with a moment of silence to honor the memories of the 168 people, including seven USDA APHIS colleagues, who lost their lives.
“Olen Bloomer, Jim Boles, Peggy Clark, Dick Cummins, Adele Higginbottom, Carole Khalil and Rheta Long will always be remembered for their ultimate sacrifice,” said Vilsack. “These men and women are heroes, and our thoughts, prayers and sympathies go out to their families and friends on this day of remembrance.”
USDA employees across the nation and around the world paused for a moment of silence to honor and remember those lost 15 years ago. The remembrance fulfills a promise made to the families of the fallen employees to remember their loved ones and the spirit of unity that was born from their deaths and the deaths of others in Oklahoma City.
USDA also is thankful for the Animal Plant Health Inspection Service employees who survived the blast and worked tirelessly to help firefighters and other rescue personnel to assist the families of the missing, said Vilsack.
At 9:02 am Central Standard Time on April 19, 1995, a bomb exploded in the A.P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Okla. The building was home to many federal agencies, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the Social Security Administration; Housing and Urban Development; Veterans Affairs; U.S. Secret Service and USDA.
“The memories of those lost on that fateful day have helped inspire USDA employees in their efforts to serve ranchers and farmers, the public and protect and promote the Nation’s food, agriculture and natural resources in Oklahoma, across the United States and around the globe.”