On April 19, 1995, a truck bomb slammed into Oklahoma City's Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, killing 168 people. Yesterday, survivors, friends and family members of those killed in the blast gathered at the site to mark the anniversary of the most destructive act of domestic terrorism in American history.
Charlie Hangar, the state trooper who arrested convicted bomber Timothy McVeigh, led those gathered at the bombing site in a moment of silence. Then, the names of all 168 victims were read aloud in a ritual that takes place every year on the anniversary of the bombing.
McVeigh, who said he was seeking revenge against a tyrannical federal government, was convicted and executed in 2001. His accomplice, Terry Nichols, is currently serving multiple life sentences in a Colorado prison.
Under a state law signed this month, the bombing and its aftermath will become a regular part of history classes in Oklahoma's schools.
"We come here to remember those who were killed, those who survived, and those changed forever. May all who leave here know the impact of violence. May this memorial offer comfort, strength, peace, hope, and serenity. Please join me in 168 seconds of silence." - Charlie Hangar, sheriff, Noble County, Oklahoma
"We control the way we prepare ourselves, the way we combat threats, and the way we respond if something indeed happens. America is a strong nation. We are a resilient nation. And, as we confront new threats, we will use our values and our way of life as the most powerful sources of our strength. We will do this for now and for years to come." - Janet Napolitano, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary
"We have chosen strength. We have chosen optimism. We have chosen freedom. And we have chosen to move forward together with a level of unity that is unmatched in any American city." - Mick Cornett, mayor, Oklahoma City
1. How do you define "terrorism"?
2. Are all terrorists from other countries?
3. What have you heard about the Oklahoma City Bombing? What do you know about it?
1. Who was Timothy McVeigh?
2. How does the Oklahoma City Bombing and the motive behind it compare to other acts of terrorism you've heard about? How is it similar to and different from what happened on 9/11?
3. Do you agree that convicted bomber Timothy McVeigh should have been put to death for what he did? Why/why not?
4. Do you think the Oklahoma City bombing is an important event to include in a curriculum? Why/why not?
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