This is node is to commemorate the loss of 168 lives 5 years ago. The largest terrorist explosion within the United States hit close to home for many in Oklahoma City if not the whole country. I myself was within 15 miles of the blast attending school when I felt the blast and thought there was an earth quake. Later I found out the horrible details and was shocked to know that I knew people inside, died, or who were missing. Many are still even effected today due to the loss of friends, loved ones, and children. On this 5th anniversary of them bombing perhaps it is time to reflect and make a move toward peace in the world and within our own boarders and consider what it really means to be human.

I, too, was living near Oklahoma City when the blast went off five years ago today. Here are a few more details: the building blown up was the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. The explosion occurred at 9:02 am (Central Time). People came from all over the world to help us dig our friends and relatives out of the rubble. Connie Chung had the poor taste to remark, "Not bad for a bunch of hillbillies." Timothy McVeigh was captured, tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for the murder of the Federal agents, and Terry Nichols was sentenced to prison as an accomplice.

Today, April 19, 2000, is the official opening of the Oklahoma City National Memorial, which includes a park, an interactive museum, and the Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism. President Clinton and Vice-President Al Gore are both attending the dedication services.

Now is the time for healing to begin. The victims and victims' relatives, when asked about a Memorial five years ago, responded in favor with one stipulation: they wanted to somehow prevent this horror from ever happening on American soil ever again. That is why the Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism is part of the Memorial. It is not enough to learn from our past; we must also take the future into our own hands and ACT upon what we learn. We must work through the sorrow to build a better tomorrow.
I work ten blocks away from the blast site and spent several nights working the emergency supply depot to assist the rescuers.

I understand why some people still want to talk about it. Sometimes I do, too. So I don't mind if they do.

It's a matter of understanding and compassion.

I remember my brother who went to graduate school at the University of Oklahoma at the time going to the Red Cross in the city to give blood to help the vicitms, but being turned away because there weren't enough survivors that the blood supply couldn't handle it, and there were simply other things to be done.

A nephew heard the explosion from 20 miles away--during recess.

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