David Glass/AP file photo

American Tragedy: 20 Years After the Oklahoma City Bombing

Twenty years after the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building devastation, and the only thing we really know for sure is that 168 people should not have died.

Before Sept. 11, 2001, we lived in an America that was post-World War II, then post-Vietnam, then post-Cold War. Now, we live in post-9/11 America. But before Sept. 11, 2001, there was April 19, 1995, the day that 168 people, including 19 children and 90 federal employees, were murdered when Persian Gulf War veteran and upstate New York native Timothy McVeigh blew up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The stated “reason” was in retaliation for federal law enforcement’s disastrous response to a standoff with a fringe religious group at the Branch Davidian complex near Waco, Texas, in 1993, and a showdown with a white supremacist in Ruby Ridge, Idaho, in 1992. Both events resulted in casualties, many of them children. 

The Oklahoma City bombing was the worst incident of domestic terrorism to date in America, and it was aimed squarely at the federal government. 

Read the entire essay here.