Related topics

On Father’s Day, families reflect on loss and on justice

June 14, 1997

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Caye Allen planned to visit her husband’s grave on Father’s Day, taking cards from their six children and telling him about the Oklahoma City bomber’s death sentence.

``I’ll say, `You know, hon, justice has been served. This guy has paid for what he did to you and 167 other people.′ I know he’s smiling,″ Mrs. Allen said.

Still, Mrs. Allen was shocked to realize that she really wasn’t concerned about Timothy McVeigh’s sentence.

``I thought that it mattered to me. But as soon as I heard guilty, all of a sudden I didn’t care,″ she said. ``Because I knew even if he got life in prison, he wasn’t going to be back out. Sometimes I think it might be worse to live the rest of your life in prison.″

At the site of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, a Father’s Day T-shirt was tucked into the fence in memory of blast victim Michael Joe Carrillo.

``I love you Daddy″ is written below a photo of Carrillo in his Navy uniform.

Father’s Day feels like ``just a big empty hole,″ said Bud Welch, whose daughter, Julie, died in the blast,

``It’ll just be like any other day,″ he said. ``It didn’t used to be. Julie always gave me a real nice card on Father’s Day.″

It will feel good to hear from his son and stepson, Welch said, but he and other survivors know the anguish will never completely go away.

``This is forever,″ Mrs. Allen said. ``There’s no such thing as the `c’ word _ closure. When you lose somebody, there’s never any closure.″