At 9:02 a.m. on April 19, 1995, when the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was bombed, Local 1141 journeyman Mikey Smith was at work a few blocks away when he heard the explosion.
When Smith reached the scene he began working triage with others, but it quickly became clear that victims of the bombing were either dead or in route to the hospital. The blast destroyed or damaged 324 buildings within a 16-block radius and claimed the lives of 168 people.
“Oklahoma City and the entire country were in shock,” said Jim Griffy, Oklahoma City Local 1141 business representative. “This was pre-9/11 and the devastation was unbelievable.”
|Members of Local 1141 provide water and snacks for runners at mile 13, the halfway mark of the Oklahoma City marathon.
In the mid-sized city, no one’s family was untouched by the tragedy. In the aftermath of the attack, the city honored the fallen with the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum. They also created a living remembrance: the annual Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon.
Members of Local 1141 have been running in the marathon to honor the memory of those lost. The event also serves to raise the profile of the IBEW in Oklahoma, a right-to-work state.
“We’re showing the community what we’re really about. We’re your neighbors as well as union members, and being part of a union can improve your life,” Griffy said.
For the second year in a row, approximately 60 IBEW volunteers staffed a hydration and snack station for the runners at mile 13, the halfway mark of the marathon.
Sixteen members of Local 1141 participated in the run this year. One runner, apprentice David Coffey, has run the marathon each of the last three years, and clocked in at three and a half hours.
“It’s great to finish and to be a part of it,” he said. “We had a lot of informal conversations at the water stop. When people saw the IBEW shirts, it gave us a chance to talk about our union and let them know about the work that Local 1141 is doing in the community.”