Tuesday, April 18, 2006

19 April 1995: In Remembrance -- The Oklahoma City Bombing


Damage to the Murrah building before cleanup began.
Image source: Wikipedia

Via Wikipedia.

At 9:02 a.m. CDT on Wednesday, April 19, 1995, in the street in front (the north side) of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building, a rented Ryder truck containing about 5,000 pounds of explosive material exploded.

The Oklahoma City bombing, in which the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, was destroyed, killed 168 people.

It is the largest domestic terrorist attack in the history of the United States and was the largest act of terrorism within U.S. borders until September 11, 2001.

The truck bomb was composed of ammonium nitrate, an agricultural fertilizer, and nitromethane, a highly volatile motor-racing fuel—a mixture also known as Kinepak or ANFO (ammonium nitrate/fuel oil). The effects of the blast could even be felt in Bridge Creek, which is about 30 miles away from the Murrah Building.

Within 90 minutes of the explosion Timothy McVeigh, a Gulf War veteran, was arrested, travelling north out of Oklahoma City on I-35 near Perry in Noble County, after being pulled over for driving without a license plate by an Oklahoma State Trooper.

At McVeigh's trial, the United States Government asserted that the motivation for the attack was to avenge the Waco Siege and Ruby Ridge, in both of which instances he believed people had been murdered by agents of the federal government. McVeigh called the casualties in the bombing "collateral damage" and compared the bombing to actions he had taken during the Gulf War. The attack was staged on the second anniversary of the Waco incident.

The effect of the bombing on the city was immense. Beyond the death toll - 168 confirmed dead including 19 children and one rescue worker, plus an unidentified leg indicating a possible 169th - the bomb injured over 800 people and destroyed or seriously damaged more than 300 buildings in the surrounding area, leaving several hundred people homeless and shutting down offices in downtown Oklahoma City. By some estimates, more than one-third of the nearly half-million residents of Oklahoma City knew someone who was killed or injured in the bombing.

More here.

Also, it is also seems appropriate to mourn the loss of 76 souls, including 22 children, that perished on this day in 1993 in Waco, Texas, at the Branch Davidian compound.


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