This Sunday, April 19, marks the 20th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, when Timothy McVeigh killed 168 people, including 19 toddlers, when he planted a bomb in an office building that also housed a daycare center.
One photo from that tragic day encapsulates the horror of the massacre, The Daily Mail reports, “a firefighter emerging from the burning wreckage cradling the lifeless body of Baylee Almon.”
Almon had her first and only birthday the day before she was killed.
Her mother, then-23-year-old Aren Almon-Kok, was desperately searching for her daughter for nearly 24 hours. The search came to an end when she saw that photo on the front page of a local paper.
Then it was everywhere, on every news station and newspaper in the world.
Almon-Kok, who still throws a birthday party for her late daughter each year, spoke to The Daily Mail about what that horrible day was like, and what it felt like to see that photo of Baylee every where she looked.
“Sixteen was hard. Twenty-one is the worst. Everything I missed, everything I didn’t get to be part of. I’m trying not to think about it,” she says.
The photo, taken by Charles Porter, went on to win the Pulitzer Prize that year.
“‘I had to see Baylee dead every day,” Almon-Kok explained. “No one should ever have to see that.”