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“A day to mourn and remember:” Sunday marks 20th anniversary of Oklahoma City bombing

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(CNN) — Sunday, April 19th, 2015 marked the 20th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing. The act of domestic terrorism resulted in the deaths of 168 people.

The sound of bagpipes filled the air in Oklahoma City as hundreds gathered to remember those who died 20 years ago Sunday. Former President Bill Clinton said the whole country can learn from the people of Oklahoma City.

“You have reminded us that we should all live by the Oklahoma standard: service, honor, kindness,” Clinton said.

In 1995, homegrown terrorist Timothy McVeigh set off a truck bomb in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. The blast killed 168 men, women and children and injured hundreds of others.

Richard Williams, an Oklahoma City bombing survivor spoke at Sunday’s remembrance ceremony.

“May this memorial offer comfort, strength, peace, hope, and serenity,” Williams said.

Those gathered asked for 168 seconds of silence, and the names of the victims were read.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said terrorism cannot prevail if people refuse to be terrorized.

“Today is a day to mourn and remember those who died here 20  years ago, but today is also a day to say to those who intend to terrorize us, ‘no you cannot,'” Johnson said.

McVeigh was convicted in the bombing and executed by lethal injection. His co-conspirator, Terry Nichols, remains in prison, serving multiple life sentences.

Here is some background information about the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on April 19, 1995:

The blast killed 168 people, including 19 children. More than 500 people were injured.

Timothy J. McVeigh and Terry L. Nichols were convicted of the attack.

The Federal Building was later razed and a park and memorial were built on the site.

The Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum has 168 stone and glass chairs placed in rows on a lawn, one for each victim.

Both McVeigh and Nichols were former U.S. Army soldiers and were associated with the extreme right-wing and militant Patriot Movement.

The Patriot Movement rejects the legitimacy of the federal government and law enforcement.

April 19 also marks two other anniversaries. Patriots’ Day is the anniversary of the American rebellion against British authority at Lexington, Massachusetts, in 1775. It is also the date that federal agents raided the compound of a religious sect in Waco, Texas, in 1993. Over 80 members of the Branch Davidian sect died in a fire that began during the raid.

McVeigh claimed he targeted the building in Oklahoma City to avenge the raid on Waco.

Timeline: April 19, 1995 – At 9:02 a.m. CST, a rental truck filled with explosives is detonated outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

April 19, 1995 – Near Perry, Oklahoma, Army veteran Timothy McVeigh is arrested during a traffic stop for driving a vehicle without a license plate.

April 21, 1995 – Timothy McVeigh is arrested by federal authorities. Co-conspirator Terry Nichols turns himself in in Herington, Kansas.

May 23, 1995 – The remaining parts of the Murrah building are imploded.

August 11, 1995 – McVeigh and Nichols are indicted on murder and conspiracy charges.

April 24, 1997 – McVeigh’s trial begins in Denver, Colorado.

June 2, 1997 – McVeigh is convicted on 11 counts of murder, conspiracy and using a weapon of mass destruction. He is sentenced to death on June 13.

November 2, 1997 – Nichols’ trial begins in McAlester, Oklahoma.

December 23, 1997 – Nichols is convicted on federal charges of conspiracy and eight counts of involuntary manslaughter. He is sentenced to life in prison. He is serving his sentence at the Supermax federal prison in Florence, Colorado.

June 11, 2001 – McVeigh is executed by lethal injection. He is the first person executed for a federal crime in the United States since 1963.

May 26, 2004 – Nichols is found guilty in Oklahoma state court on 161 counts of murder. The jury spends five hours deliberating before announcing the verdict.

August 9, 2004 – District Judge Steven Taylor sentences Nichols to 161 consecutive life terms, without the possibility of parole.

January 20, 2006 – Michael Fortier is released from prison after serving 11 years for failing to notify authorities of McVeigh and Nichols’ plans to bomb the Murrah Federal Building. Fortier was a friend of the bombers, but testified against them during their trials.

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1 Comment

  • s holmes

    I mourn the women & children burned alive in Waco & so did Tim. Difference is…Tim did something about it.

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