April 19, 2002
We must never forget

Seven years ago today, a bomb exploded outside the Alfred Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. It killed 168 people, many of whom were children at the building's day care center, and injured hundreds more. At the time, it was the deadliest terrorist attack on Americal soil.

Like September 11, the attack was carried out by a small group of people with careful planning and low-tech equipment. Like September 11, the murderous rage, insane hatred, and utter indifference to human life of the attackers remains incomprehensible to us. Like September 11, the attack was intended as an attack on all of America, with the hope of eventually destroying America's government and society. Like September 11, the attackers failed to acheive this goal.

When news of the attack was first aired, many people thought it was the work of Middle Eastern terrorists. It wasn't. The attackers were American, part of a larger movement of militias, posses, freemen, sovereign citizens, and white supremacists who believed that the American "Zionist-Occupied Government" was dominated by Israel and that the "white race" was threatened by extinction due to racial mixing. Though this movement has declined in force, and though we don't hear much about them today because our attention has been focused outside our borders, they remain a threat. Many of them have expressed regret that they were not part of the September 11 attack, and are using that attack to recruit new members.

Seven years ago today, one hundred and sixty eight people who were going about their everyday lives were wiped off the planet by evil. We must never forget the events of that day and the people who were forever affected by them.

The building in which I work has several large monitors on the walls of the computer operations center. Most of the time these monitors display status and alert information about our many servers. On April 19, 1995, they were tuned to broadcast TV. We watched the scenes of devastation in slack-jawed horror. The only other time that these monitors have been used as televisions was September 11. I cannot tell you how much I hope and pray that they will never be used as televisions again.

In the aftermath of September 11, some Oklahoma City survivors spoke of feeling ignored, as vast charitable donations flowed into New York. Such emotions are surely understandable, but we must make sure they are never necessary. We owe them our remembrance.

There is an official memorial in Oklahoma City to remember its lost brothers and sisters. The Federal Highway Administration remembers the 11 employees it lost on that awful day. You can read a chronology of the events here, and you can read about our homegrown terrorists here. Take a look at this photograph and never ever forget April 19.

We will never forget. We must never forget.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 19, 2002 to National news