When Officer Don Hull pulled 1-year-old Joseph Webber out of the rubble of the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995, he had no idea if the boy would live or die.
“I remember a lot – most of it I’d like to forget,” Hull told Oklahoma’s News 9 about the moment a bomb went off 30 feet away from the daycare center inside Oklahoma’s Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.
Hull was in his car just blocks away from the blast site when he heard and felt the explosion. He immediately rushed to the scene to help. A photographer captured the image of Hull pulling Webber from the rubble.
“As I picked him up, I don’t know whether it was just the movement, shock or whatever, he started to cry,” Hull said.
The cry meant the boy had survived. Hull held Webber tight against his chest to try to stop the bleeding and to prevent his parents from seeing the severity of his injuries.
“I pretty much assumed that he wasn’t going to make it,” the officer told the news station.
Webber did survive, and while he and Hull met briefly one year after the bombing, the officer continued to think about the boy he saved.
“I always wondered, but I never wanted to impose,” he said.
Twenty years after the bombing, Hull and Webber, now a 21-year-old college student studying zoology at Oklahoma State University, were reunited.
“I’m still trying to take it in, Webber said at the reunion. It’s cool – now that I actually realize the significance of the day.”
While Webber still bears one physical scar – a mark on his cheek – from the bombing, he said he has no memory of the day’s events, which makes Hull happy.
“You were the only good the entire day,” Hull told Webber as they hugged.
Now that the two have reunited, they plan to keep in touch. Webber will attend the veteran officer’s retirement later this year.
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