Six-twenty N. Harvey Avenue in Oklahoma City is a tourist site for most visitors, but for many twentysomethings and thirtysomethings, it's a place to mourn the loss of parents that died when they were kids. For another generation, it's a place to see the names of grandparents they never knew forever enshrined. It's also a sacred location better remembered for what was instead of what is.
One hundred sixty-eight people would never again attend graduations, weddings, see the Sooners/Cowboys backyard brawl, or take their children to see the statues of Jim Thorpe, Johnny Bench or Mickey Mantle a mile away.
On April 19, 1995, hundreds were beginning what should have been a typical day. Then at 9:02 a.m., the unthinkable occurred when a bombing orchestrated by two anti-government extremists in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building happened. Since 2000, the Oklahoma City National Memorial has been there. The bombing caused at least 168 deaths, and 680 injuries.
Anti-government militias grew almost 800% during Barack Obama's presidency and in recent years the U.S. has seen an uptick in anti-government rhetoric, culminating on Jan. 6 with an insurrection in Washington. A police union report said the attack left 140 police officers injured, two suicides, and at least 38 union employees testing positive for COVID-19. Five people died, and the death count could have skyrocketed without the bravery of police officer Eugene Goodman, who headed terrorists in the wrong direction, and lawmakers to safety.
Shouting “USA, USA” doesn't make you patriotic while you're bludgeoning cops with the pole Old Glory is on. Beating up outnumbered cops doesn't demonstrate “Blue Lives Matter.”
Some Jan. 6 terrorists wore a Dachau symbol. Dachau was a German concentration camp where 31,951 people were killed during the Holocaust. Many anti-government terrorists put their faith in QAnon, Infowars, and talk show hosts with attorneys saying things in court like, “he was just being dramatic,” or, “no reasonable person would believe that.”
It’s time to reclaim a safe America.