The Oklahoma City bombing was once the biggest terrorist act in American history. Today, the Oklahoma City bombing seems like it was a prelude of things to come. When it happened in 1994, the country was not fearing and talking about terrorism as much as it has in more recent times. However, whereas today’s times are concerned with foreign born terrorist, the 1994 bombing is still the deadliest act of domestic terrorism on U.S. soil. Today, the Oklahoma City bombing reaches its landmark 15th anniversary, bringing another round of memories and pain.
On April 19, 1994, the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City fell to a massive domestic attack. Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols were eventually found as the masterminds, who committed the attack to strike at the federal government. 168 people died because of it, putting the city on the map in tragic fashion.
Today, the Oklahoma City bombing has reached a notable 15th anniversary. By now, family members and officials are used to coming back every April 19 to pay tribute to the victims and to what they represented. Even though bigger attacks have taken place in America since then, this one is still a tragic landmark in history.
Back when the Oklahoma City bombing took place, America was just coming to terms with the first World Trade Center bombing and the events in Waco. Since then, events like Columbine, 9/11, the D.C. sniper, and other acts have almost desensitized the nation to terrorism at home. In fact, right after this bombing is remembered today, the Columbine massacre anniversary will be noted tomorrow.
This year’s Oklahoma City bombing anniversary comes at a crucial time, as talks of domestic terrorism and homegrown extremism is back in the headlines. Miltias are back in the headlines, with their numbers increasing, along with anti-government rhetoric . Liberals are likely to link the rise of the tea party to this trend, and claim that right-wing domestic terrorism is set to make a comeback.
Meanwhile, the anniversary is also giving voice to the man behind it all. MSNBC is airing a special starring Timothy McVeigh himself tonight as new recordings of his are unveiled. One of them has McVeigh saying that everyone should “get over it” and the rest of tonight’s “The McVeigh Tapes: Confessions of an American Terrorist” special is bound to have similar sentiments.
But the Oklahoma City bombing has clearly not been gotten over, and most likely never will. America continues to mourn the tragedy every April 19, while the efforts to stop similar bombings are greater than ever.
CBS News- “OKC Bombing, 15 Years Later: Are We Safer?”
Denver Westword- “Timothy McVeigh on Oklahoma City bombing’s 15’th anniversary: ‘Get over it'”