Oklahoma City Marks 15 Years Since Bombing

Monday, 19 Apr 2010 01:22 PM

 

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told survivors and victims' relatives gathered Monday for a somber ceremony to mark the 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing that the city's spirit in the wake of the tragedy served as an example to the nation.

Napolitano also warned of the need for continued vigilance against terrorists when she spoke during the 90-minute memorial to the 168 lives lost in the destruction of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995. More than 600 others were injured in the blast, which at the time was the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil.

Across Oklahoma City, people observed 168 seconds of silence to honor the dead.

Some dabbed away tears as the ceremony closed with family members reading a roll call of those who died.

"What defines us as a nation, as a people and as communities is not what we have suffered, but how we have risen above it, how we've overcome," Napolitano said. "We can resolve that the Oklahoma Standard becomes the national standard."

The ceremony followed a time-honored script. Shortly before 9:02 a.m., when the bombing occurred, bells tolled in downtown Oklahoma City. Some family members visited the site of the federal building razed in the attack and left ribbons, wreaths and other objects on chairs that stand on the site to honor the dead.

After the ceremony, family members and survivors gathered again on the building's footprint. Nearby an American Elm, known as the "Survivor Tree" because it survived the blast, bloomed a brilliant shade of green.

Most of those attending sat quietly in a grassy area near the Survivor Tree and a reflecting pool, politely applauding the speakers, including Gov. Brad Henry and former Gov. Frank Keating, who was in office when the blast occurred.

Mayor Mick Cornett said the city remembers the day of the bombing with reverence "not because we can't forget but because we choose to remember.

"We have chosen strength, we have chosen optimism, we have chosen freedom, we have chosen to move forward together with a level of unity that is unmatched in any American city," Cornett said.

Attending the ceremony was Charlie Hangar, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper who stopped bomber Timothy McVeigh on Interstate 35 the day of the blast because his 1977 Mercury Marquis did not have a license plate. Hangar, now the Noble County sheriff, read the memorial's mission statement at the start of the service. U.S. Rep. Mary Fallin, R-Okla., who was the state's lieutenant governor at the time of the bombing, read a congressional resolution commemorating the anniversary.

Napolitano said the bombing anniversary is a reminder of "the continued need for vigilance against the violent ideologies that led to this attack, so that we can recognize their signs in our communities and stand together to defeat them."

In a documentary, "The McVeigh Tapes: Confessions of an American Terrorist," to be aired Monday on MSNBC, recordings of interviews with the convicted bomber indicate he had no remorse for those whose lives he had destroyed.

"Throughout the history of mankind, people have killed for what they believed was the greater good and ... and it's accepted. Sometimes killing is accepted," McVeigh told journalists Lou Michel and Dan Herbeck in comments posted on the MSNBC website.

Prosecutors had said McVeigh's plot was an attempt to avenge the deaths of about 80 people in the government siege at the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, exactly two years earlier.

McVeigh was convicted on federal murder charges and executed in 2001. McVeigh's Army buddy, Terry Nichols, was convicted on federal and state bombing-related charges and is serving multiple life sentences at a federal prison in Colorado.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Morici: Obama Could Stifle North Korea's Shakedown of Sony

Monday, 22 Dec 2014 09:16 AM

The American people now have a censor , North Korean Dictator Kim Jong-un. And they can thank President Obama's failure  . . .

Christie Presses Obama to Demand Cuba Returns Trooper's Killer

Monday, 22 Dec 2014 09:12 AM

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is petitioning President Barack Obama to demand that Cuba return a woman convicted of kil . . .

Sony's Lawyer: 'The Interview Will Be Distributed'

Monday, 22 Dec 2014 09:06 AM

Sony Pictures is planning to release the controversial movie “The Interview” at some stage, the company’s lawyer says. . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved