The difference between treason and patriotism is only a matter of dates.
Alexander Dumas, The Count of Monte Christo.
This Sunday, April 19, 2015, is the 20th anniversary of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. At 9:03 am that morning, a two-ton fertilizer bomb loaded in the back of a Ryder truck parked in front of the Murrah building exploded, killing 168 people and injuring nearly 700 others. The blast destroyed or damaged 324 buildings within a 16-block radius, destroyed or burned 86 cars, and shattered glass in 258 nearby buildings, causing three-quarters of a billion dollars in damage. The Murrah bombing was the deadliest and most costly terrorism act in the history of the United States, only surpassed by the 9/11 New York World Trade Center bombing.
Timothy McVeigh (April 23, 1968 – June 11, 2001) was charged and convicted with the bombing. The United States federal government executed McVeigh for his crime. In the book American Terrorist, the only biography of his life that McVeigh authorized, authors Lew Michel and Dan Herbeck spent 75 hours interview McVeigh in prison. The portrait they paint of the 26-year-old who bombed the Murrah building--according to Salon Magazine--might fit any number of right-wing radicals today.
"He hates and fears the federal government, worships guns, fetishizes "liberty" (defined in almost purely negative terms, as freedom from external interference of any kind), embraces survivalism and sees himself as having acted in a proud American tradition of resistance to tyranny that goes back to the Founders. Throw in belief in the gold standard, certainty that a U.N.-run "New World Order" is poised to take over the world, racial resentment and an obsessive fixation on Ruby Ridge and Waco as proof that federal agents are jackbooted thugs waiting to make their final move, and the ... portrait is complete" Gary Kimaya, SalonApril 19 is Patriots' Day.
McVeigh's choice of that day to bomb the federal building is no accident. Patriots' Day
commemorates the date of the 1775 Battles of Lexington and Concord which featured "the shot heard round the world" and the beginning of the American Revolution. Patriots' Day is also the date in which first bloodshed of the American Civil War occurred, in the Baltimore riot of 1861, When Patriots' Day was established in 1894, Massachusetts Governor Frederic Greenhalge proclaimed it as "the anniversary of the birth of liberty and union." The original date of April 19 for Patriots' Day was eventually switched to 'the third Monday of April" to prevent celebrating the holiday on different days of the year. The Boston Marathon has been run on Patriots' Day ever since April 19, 1897, but moved to Marathon Monday when celebrating Patriots' Day was moved to the third Monday of April. Of course, Marathon is the infamous name of the battle in 490 BC when the Greeks defeated Persia and marked the beginning of western civilization and its emphasis on individual liberty and political democracy.
It seems the date April 19 is rapidly becoming the date of choice to attack the United States government, more so than even September 11. Anyone with hostility toward the US government-- including right-wing terrorist groups, IS terror cells, and others who would desire to see the United States government collapse, will choose April 19 or Patriots' Day as their preferential date to attack.
McVeigh chose the federal building in OKC in retaliation for the federal law enforcements' attack and destruction of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas on April 19, 1993. The Murrah Building housed the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), or the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), three of the agencies that attacked the Davidian Compound in Waco on April 19, 1993. McVeigh regarded the presence of additional law-enforcement agencies at the Murrah Building, such as the Secret Service or the U.S. Marshals Service, as a bonus.
I worked the morgue after the Murrah Bombing and became one of the liaisons between family members gathering at a Christian church north of the bombing, waiting for word about their family members. I will never forget the devastating impact of April 19, 1995 on Oklahoma City and the state of Oklahoma.As we reflect on the 20th anniversary of the bombing, it's a good time for all of us who love the United States to recognize those who hate our country/government care little for the collateral damage they cause through their attacks. This week and next week are both a time for all Americans to be familiar with their surroundings, just as we are on September 11 every year.