Cokeville survivors relive school bombing for film
It's been tough for the survivors to go through it all again — even amid the safety of a film set. And it's been difficult to see their kids re-enacting what they experienced almost three decades ago.
The survivors and their kids spent several days acting out scenes in the classrooms and outside the school. Their faces were smeared with fake ash and blood.
But the kids didn't seem scared. Instead, they felt honored to essentially play younger versions of their parents.
"I like to pretend I'm my mom," said a smiling Regyn Conger, 9.
Kamaya Wixom, who at 12, is now about the same age as her father when he was held hostage, said, "It's nice to be able to feel what he went through."
Kamron Wixom said he believes it will ultimately be good for his kids.
"It was a positive story," he said of the crisis. "It's a faith-promoting thing and a good thing for our kids to have a little more connection to."
Kamron Wixom also ended up as an extra in the filming. On Thursday, he dressed as a paramedic, comforting a little girl and boy running out of the school — a little boy that could have been him 28 years ago.
Conger also worked as an extra, pretending to be a worried parent waiting outside the school. It wasn't difficult for Conger, now a mother of five, to imagine what her mother, who also had five kids, must have gone through that day.
"It wasn't hard for me to cry," she said of acting out the scene.
But Conger hopes the difficulty of reliving the events will be worth it. She feels a responsibility as a survivor to share her story, which she sees as one of hope and faith.
"I thought it was time to tell the vital parts of the story," Conger said, "and let people know miracles happen and prayers are answered."