On April 19, the nation remembered the Oklahoma City bombing and paused to remember the 168 people whose lives were cut short. It’s an emotional time for victim’s families as they come together at the memorial where their loved ones died. Out of the tears, though, one family decided to turn a rather personal moment into an opportunity to teach the nation about the 168 lives that were lost with unforgettable pictures shared on Facebook by Autumn Moore Photography.
Mom shares personal moment with the nation
Brittany Montoya is not just any new mom; she is the mom of a grandchild that will never get to meet her grandmother, Karan Shepard. Montoya’s mom was killed in the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. The memorial site has become a place where she comes during special moments in her life. In a sense, it’s her way of sharing those times with her mom. One of those moments was having a photo taken of her newborn son, Cohen, on her mother’s memorial chair. The picture is gripping, and a powerful reminder of the 168 lives that were lost, which was Montoya’s purpose in letting the photographer share the photos. “You learn 168 people. It’s really important to me that they learn those were actual people,” Montoya said.
Autumn Moore Photography and Montoya also shared a photo of Montoya wearing her wedding dress and standing next to her mother’s chair at the memorial. Montoya is determined not to forget the lives that were tragically lost, and sharing these photos is a strong reminder of the impact these senseless acts have generations later. Instead of letting this tragedy define her, though, she finds peace and happiness in her mother’s love, and the fact that her mother would want her to be happy.
The Montoya’s also have a sapling from the Survivor’s Tree at the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial planted in their backyard. It’s a daily reminder of her mother, but also a way to teach her children about her mom and the tragedy their family has endured.
Memorial of the Oklahoma City bombing
April 19 marked the 19th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, and crowds gathered to remember the people that died that day. The bombing was carried out by the hands of Timothy McVeigh, and was the worst domestic act of terrorism in America. McVeigh has since been executed, and a memorial and museum established.
The museum is in the process of upgrading the exhibits to be more interactive, and give patrons and students a better picture of what happened on April 19. The $7 million technology boost should be finished by the 20th anniversary of the bombing next year, and will add exhibits and interactive models of the criminal trials.