Monday, April 13, 2015

Patriots' Day, April 19, and the Need for Caution

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, Salon
April 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.


Gordon said...

It must surely be the height of moral depravity for someone to express a grievance against society by killing and maiming innocent people for the purpose of making their point. Such acts of terrorism constitute an unmitigated evil.

A social change which cannot be brought about by patient persuasion but relies on instant cruel and inhuman action, shows that it is demonically inspired. It produces the opposite effect upon the desired goal of freedom and liberty.

It seems to me the whole world has entered a period of greater restrictions and tighter control in order to contain the abusers. We all suffer because of their wicked and irresponsible behavior.

It is the duty of Government to restrain and punish evil-doers, but it is our task as believers to promote the Gospel of Christ. The transforming benefits in the life of the individual will flow over into the community.

RIP TIM said...

Pretty simplistic way to look at what occurred in the bombing. The actions of an arrogant and evil Federal government that slaughtered children at Waco & murdered a family and unborn baby at Ruby Ridge were 100% the causation of the retaliation. The victims were not collateral damage anymore than the children of Waco were. They were targeted, you kill our kids, we kill yours. The children killed at the Federal building were children of people that take the bribe from an evil government to do it's bidding, they were no more or less victims than those slaughtered by the Federal Government. Calling Tim Mcveigh a terrorist is a stretch as he once fought for this country in Gulf war 1 and was a professing Christian. He won a lot of awards in Awana and was a kind hearted kid. Somewhere along the line, something went wrong with Tim when he figured out what our government is really all about and it's not promoting righteousness despite what a bunch of idiot Christians think. Tim Mcveigh is no hero but he did lay the ground work for what is coming. That is what I fear.....

Rex Ray said...

Rip Tim

An example for what is wrong with our government can be seen by the way the IRS is treating Sam Wyly and his diseased brother. In my opinion what the brothers did that got them in trouble was giving millions to the Republican Party and none to the Democrats.

The brothers did exactly what their expert tax lawyers told them was legal. Instead of bringing charges against their lawyers, they were given immunity and all charges were against the brothers.

Their trial started about 8 years ago and ended with a ‘guilty’ verdict this year. In the hall, the judge and jury foreman were seen giving each other ‘high-fives’.

On the news today, their IRS ‘bill’ was 3.6 billion dollars.

Sam’s wife and my daughter played sports together in high school and college.

Rex Ray said...

Sam was forced to sell all his possessions (except his home) when unable to pay an original 300 million fine. He was forced to sell some of his home furniture as being ‘too expensive’.

Besides being a guest in his former house in Colorado, the only thing we’ve received from the Wylys a long time ago was some ‘bargain price’ furniture, and his sister-in-law gave us a ‘wild un-trainable’ cat which now follows me around like a puppy dog.

BTW, the long trial started against the Wylys because they had taken advantage of TOO MANY tax loop-holes. They made their money by buying small business and developing them into large ones. Was that a crime?

I heard on the radio a person becomes a ‘target’ by the IRS if they make $200,000 or more. Has America become a victim from fear of the IRS?

Christiane said...

RIP, little Baylee Almon, God love you, sweet child

today, she would have been 21 years old

I look at this picture and I pray 'We long for you, Lord, in this place . . .'

We are not without hope.

Curious Thinker said...

I remember the Oklahoma City bombings, It was a real tragedy and such a shame that such a terrbile event also also on the same day as my mother's birthday. I pray for all the family members who suffered the lost of loved ones that day and for the survivors. God Bless.

Gordon said...

To-day the voice of weeping is heard again for the many innocents in OKC who were slain and wounded twenty years ago.

We may lose awhile, but we do not lose heart when our hope is in the grace of God.