Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building

April 19, 1995 9:02AM

Today marks the 18th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.

The bombing killed 168 people, 19 of which were children under the age of 6, and injured more than 680 people.

That day changed Oklahoma forever.

At 9:02AM today, please take 168 seconds of silence to remember those that we lost, and pray for the people who lost loved ones.

We will never forget.

I know that this has been a very hard week for everyone here in America.

But we all just need to remember.

Evil will never win.

Love will always prevail.

God bless this nation.
I'm going to post this, and this will be my only comments on this weekend's observances of the 20th anniversary of the Murrah Building bombing.

Resilience is a documentary co-produced by OETA and The Oklahoman to commemorate that anniversary. Lots of clips can be had at the link and here, too. It’s quite good, FWIW, with archival footage and current interviews with survivors, first responders, and others.

And now I’m going to make a potentially controversial statement: The bombing was a tragic, but important, milestone in the history of Oklahoma and of this nation. I say “important” because Oklahoma City showed the nation two things in the aftermath. One is the “The Oklahoma Standard.” That is one thing I will say about my state, I think the Oklahoma Standard is a good thing. It’s a magnified way of saying to humanity, “Don’t be a dick.” I wish some of our more strident GOP state legislators would remember that sometimes when they construct laws that might be a hinderance to some Oklahomans. I also hope they hold their tongues when former President Bill Clinton speaks on Sunday at the observances.

The other thing is that it’s hard not to swallow one’s pride at how Oklahoma City has risen from the ashes to the city that it is today. Yeah, Oklahoma City still has problems (most of them admittedly reside in that big crumbling building on Lincoln Boulevard), but it is a long, long way from the Oklahoma City of, say, April 18, 1995. OKC is alive, vibrant, and … you know, it’s even cool sometimes. The angsty feelings seem more apparent during this week, when Oklahoma City’s modern symbol of civic pride, the Thunder*, didn’t make the NBA postseason (but hey, injuries and all, they didn’t get eliminated from contention until the very last night of the season. There’s some resilience for you, on a smaller level).

Do not think I am being disrespectful of the survivors if I don’t drape myself in black and be mopey all weekend. My former landlord – as good a guy as you’ll ever meet – survived the Murrah bombing. I always keep those survivors in my thoughts in my own way, and most certainly will this weekend.

But also don’t be surprised if you see this blog go the dumb shite/pop culture/kittens route this weekend. IT IS MY WAY OF DEALING WITH IT TO KEEP SANE. If you don’t like that, perhaps maybe disfollow for a bit.


* I also don’t feel like getting into a pissing match about the Thunder and how they got to Oklahoma City. Look, I don’t exactly like how they got here either, but I love the team, and they’re here. So there.

The #JournoList

April 20, 2015

Oklahomans and others gathered at the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum for the 20th anniversary Remembrance Ceremony in honor of those who died as a result of the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.

Five years have passed since an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, owned by British Petroleum (BP), led to the largest marine oil spill in U.S. history.

Five years after the nation’s worst offshore oil spill, the industry is working on drilling even further into the risky depths beneath the Gulf of Mexico to tap massive deposits once thought unreachable.

Five years ago today, the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded, releasing at least 134 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. While the Florida coast still is recovering from the disaster, researchers say it’s too soon to know the full extent of the damage. 

Amid nationwide outrage over a police officer’s shooting eight bullets at the back of an unarmed, fleeing suspect in South Carolina, the statement by the local police union had a half-sentence of regret and contrition: Yes, it said, the fatal shooting was “beyond comprehension.”

A black man died in a Baltimore hospital, a week after he was arrested and dragged into a police van by white patrol officers, raising questions about how he sustained his injuries and prompting an investigation.

Police in Tampa, Florida are disproportionately targeting bicyclists in black neighborhoods where officers allegedly issue an excessive number of bicycle tickets for mostly minor infractions.

The FBI and Justice Department have admitted to overstating forensic evidence results in court in a way that benefitted prosecutors in hundreds of trials over more than two decades.

The 2016 presidential race will be the most expensive in history. But the battle for control of the U.S. Senate in November 2016 also looks likely to smash spending records.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed a law allowing nitrogen to be used in executions in the state in case lethal injection is ruled unconstitutional or the drugs are not available.

Texas’ prison chief expressed confidence that his agency will track down more of the state’s preferred execution drug once supplies are exhausted, and said he’s unaware of any official consideration of alternatives.

An HIV outbreak in southeastern Indiana related to abuse of intravenous prescription drugs has jumped by 24 cases in the past week, an increase attributed to offering more testing resources.

Minnesota officials have confirmed four more cases of a bird flu strain that has already cost the state’s turkey producers over 1.6 million birds.

Federal regulators’ tweaks to rules for trains carrying flammable liquids didn’t impress local officials who are concerned about explosive fires.

Mexican officials said that they had captured a leader of the Juárez Cartel, Jesús Salas Aguayo, the man in charge of the gang’s operations in Ciudad Juárez during a convulsion of violence that made the city one of the world’s most murderous.

A gun battle and rioting erupted as Mexican police were attempting to arrest an alleged drug cartel leader, leaving three dead in one of Mexico’s biggest cities, the border town of Reynosa.

Photo: Omaha World Herald Freedom Center Press Building