Tuesday, April 19, 2005

April 19

It has been 10 years since Timothy McVeigh blew up the Murrah building in Oklahoma City. I don't remember how I reacted. I don't remember hearing about it, or thinking about it - I remember the aftermath - people on the radio accusing "towelheads" - me thinking they were probably wrong - and somewhere realizing what day it was.

April 19, 1993 is much clearer, the memory. It was Patriot's Day; I had been to see the Red Sox, and then gone to Cambridge with my pals; we were eating at the Border Cafe. The TV's were on, and the news came on, the shots of tanks driving into David Koresh's compound, the news that the place was on fire - the news that there did not appear to be any survivors. I felt horrified. I felt, before that, that there was no reason on earth not to simply wait Koresh and company out, and that any overt attack would lead to something horrible. It did. And in the aftermath, I thought it would create copy cats - the paranoids would spring into action. They did.

The Oklahoma City bombings left me numb. I remember feeling confusion and denial, numb despair, but very little else. It matters that I can't find my journals from the time - if I recorded any thoughts, they are gone. I don't think I recorded many thoughts - the bombing was too stark an event. It was not something you could have an opinion about - it was just horrible.

We must acknowledge these horrors. The memory of these evils. Those who suffered and died. Take a moment and reflect.

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