A screening of the documentary 'resilience' was held in Woodward earlier this week. (Photo by Rachael Van Horn)

Woodward residents were among the first in the state Tuesday night to screen a special documentary called "Resilience: "The Oklahoma City Bombing 20 Years Later".

The film is aimed at recognizing the 20th anniversary of the Bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City and how families of victims and survivors have found their way to some form of healing.

As the anniversary date draws near, OETA began a screening tour of the documentary film beginning Tuesday in Woodward. The tour will also feature the film in Perry, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Lawton and McAlester.

Tuesday night's showing at the Woodward Conference Center was the first screening of the documentary since it was completed, according to its presenters.

The decision to create a documentary came as a result of several people, including OETA Production Manager Mickey Smith and Jaclyn Cosgrove of the Oklahoman.

The pair met with OETA Deputy Director Dick Pryor to discuss a way to cover the tragedy in a way that not only looked back at the act of terrorism but also offered a chance for Oklahomans to hear from those victims and family members who were determined to survive.

"I think then that one thing led to another and we decided we would do this project," Pryor said.

The production is filmed in the quintessential top quality sound and editing style of OETA productions.

The last OETA film documentary screened in Woodward was the vastly popular "Remembering the Dust Bowl."

"Resilience" begins by placing the viewer squarely in the building on April 19, 1995 at a morning training meeting that had been recorded in one of the federal offices.

Then the explosion is heard and viewers experience the ensuing panic and terror.

The rest of the documentary tells the stories of many who survived the blast. The film also includes first-person accounts of family members of those killed in the blast, including many stories of family members never told in the years following the bombing.

Included in the documentary is a rare personal moment with then Gov. Frank Keating, who shares his own struggles regarding his time at ground zero.

According to Woodward Assistant Fire Chief Todd Finley, the film opened his mind to ideas about how working in almost any capacity, including that of some reporters of local papers, at ground zero in the moments and days following the blast, affected people.

"I thought it was a very interesting program," Finley said. "It showed things I really hadn't considered when I was there as a responder, such as the children now who are growing up without a parent."

Finely was an Alva Police officer at the time of the bombing and was sent to help secure the area around ground zero while searchers worked the site.

He admitted that attending the screening Tuesday night was something he had to make himself do.

The film's producers noted, when asked why the documentary lacked the voice of the first responders, that the various groups of first responders declined to be interviewed for the project.

According to producer, Mickey Smith, the first responders simply did not wish to be interviewed and did not even want to talk about their memories of the bombing aftermath.

"And I only served there for one day and it was hard for me. I can't begin to imagine how those guys who were digging and searching for several weeks feel at this point," Finley said.

Despite the emotional impact remembering has on Finley, in honor of the event Tuesday night, Finley donned his formal uniform for the event Tuesday night.

On his uniform is a small blue ribbon he and his fellow officers, Stacey Shryock and Steven Nobblit were presented for their service at the bombing site.

"I am as proud of that as I am my military service or any of the other service I have ever done," Finley said.

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