Former OKC mayor stayed at his post
BY CURTIS KILLMAN World Staff Writer
Monday, April 18, 2005
11/09/12 at 2:14 PM
Ron Norick helped at the site for nearly two weeks after the bombing.
Ron Norick still
hears the same
question over and
over when he tells people he is
from Oklahoma City.
"Oh, were you there during the bombing?" they ask.
Yes, as a matter of fact,
he was, the former Oklahoma City mayor responds.
Within an hour after the
bomb exploded, destroying
the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, killing 168 people and injuring 850 others,
Norick was there, practically
living there over the next
In fact, three days after
the bombing, it was his
mother who worried about
him after seeing him on national television.
"Have you been home?"
Norick's mother asked.
"Yeah, I was home for a little bit.
Why?" Norick replied.
"Because we've been watching
you on TV, and you've got the very
same jacket on since Wednesday,"
his mother said.
Norick changed clothes and enlisted his son, Lance, to work
alongside him as he helped coordinate the rescue and recovery operation. Looking back, Norick said he
is amazed at how smoothly the response to the bombing went.
From the rescue workers to the
investigators to the city workers
and the general public, Norick
gives all involved high marks.
Norick, controlling manager for
Norick Investment Co. LLC, recalls
the time when workers needed
flashlights and gloves. Officials
asked the media to put the word
out to the public.
"You could just not believe how
much stuff came through the
checkpoints," Norick said. "It was
just amazing the generosity of the
When rescue workers descended
upon the city, a restaurant convention in town that week turned the
convention center into a live kitchen. Heck, even most of the media
behaved itself, Norick said, with
"The only one was Connie
Chung that one night," Norick said.
"She kind of patronized us and got
removed from that assignment," referring to the network anchorwoman's clumsy questioning of rescue
Now 10 years later, Norick, in
some ways, still deals with the aftermath.
"I have reporters calling me all
the time, (asking) how's the city
doing," said Norick, who was mayor for 11 years until 1998.
His answer: It depends.
"If you had lost your daughter or
your husband or your wife, you're
going to feel different than if you
had lost a friend.
"Everybody is going to deal with
it in a different way. It's unnatural
for your kids to predecease you, so
any parent that lost a kid I'm sure
they think about it every day, every
It's with that in mind that Norick
said he has not favored holding a
structured remembrance every
"If I had lost my son or daughter
and every year I'd be expected to
show up or at least be reminded of
it, I just think that's hard," Norick
That's why the Oklahoma City
National Memorial and Museum
was built and dedicated to the victims and their families, Norick said.
The former mayor estimates he
has been through the Memorial
Museum close to a dozen times,
not counting receptions there.
"I can't go out that last part
where the children are singing
without getting a tear in my eye,"
Looking back, Norick believes
the fast pace of the events surrounding the bombing probably
helped him get through it all with
his emotions in check.
"I think being so busy, I didn't
have time to . . . . " Norick said, his
voice trailing off.
"Now there will be times during
the 10-year anniversary, I don't
know when it will be, but I'll have
a tear," Norick said. "I don't know
what will cause it.
"There will be something said.
Somebody will hug me or something that will cause some emotion."
Curtis Killman 581-8471