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Today Is The 18th Anniversary Of The Oklahoma City Bombing

Win McNamee, Getty Images

Today, April 19, 2013, marks the 18th anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.

The building, built in 1977, was the home of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, along with the United States Secret Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Social Security Administration.  More than five hundred people worked at the building, which also had an on-site child care service.  Nineteen children under the age of six were killed, along with 159 others, when a Ryder rental truck filled with explosives was detonated in front of the building.

Almost seven hundred people were injured and more than three hundred buildings in Downtown Oklahoma City were damaged or destroyed.

Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols were charged with planning the attack.  Others were later charged as accomplices.  McVeigh was put to death by lethal injection in 2001.  Nichols was sentenced to life in prison.

The Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum was dedicated by President George Bush and First Lady Laura Bush on February 19, 2001 with the mission of educating the public about “the senselessness of terrorism and violence.”  The “Field of Empty Chairs,” representing each of the bombing victims who lost a life, is visited annually by thousands.

 

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