OK-NYC Bond Forged by Tragedy, Kept Through Prayer

OK-NYC Bond Forged by Tragedy, Kept Through Prayer

A plaque commemorating the 1995 terror bombing in Oklahoma City and the 2001 attacks in New York City. (Photo by Ron Vega)

The people of Oklahoma have known tragedy beyond their worst nightmares. Yet their faith is so strong nothing can break their spirit.

We have had the privilege of knowing a group who survived the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995 and they have been a source of strength and healing in our own struggles to make peace with our 9/11 tragedy in New York City. As we attended one other’s remembrance ceremonies over the years, we have formed a bond much like a family in closeness. We have cried together. We have companioned our sorrow.

When this latest tornado hit Oklahoma, my heart skipped as I worried about "my family" there. I would learn they were thankfully uninjured as they hunkered down in storm shelters.

Others were not as fortunate.My friends said, “The devastation is tremendous.

Entire blocks destroyed. It's about a 2 mile wide area. It was hit hard. So many died and some of them babies.”

When I asked what I could do to help, they said what they have always said: “Pray for us.” Some of us may diminish or undervalue the power of prayer. Some of us even shy away from saying the words “God bless you.” I have come to know that telling many Okies you will pray for them is considered the highest form of human kindness. So pray for them and let them know you are praying for them. And then, pray some more.

By Ronaldo Vega

Vega is the director of design and construction for the 9/11 Memorial