April 19, 2015

Director Comey Speaks at Oklahoma City Bombing Anniversary Event

Director Comey speaks at a memorial service marking the 20th anniversary of the bombing.

Director Comey speaks at a memorial service marking the 20th anniversary of the bombing.

Speaking this morning at a remembrance ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building bombing in Oklahoma City, FBI Director James Comey noted that as the nation looked on in shock at the senseless act of homegrown terrorism on April 19, 1995, it also witnessed Oklahomans responding with tremendous unity and resolve.

“You were strong,” Comey said. “You were fearless. You understood—even in the face of such terrible hatred—that courage is stronger than fear, love is stronger than hatred, and hope is stronger than grief.”
The ceremony was held at the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum in Oklahoma City and attended by survivors, families of victims, first responders, and dignitaries, including former President Bill Clinton. Comey applauded the outpouring of generosity and spirit by the state’s residents after the bombing, which became known as the Oklahoma Standard.

“We’ve had these dark and damaging moments before, as individuals, as Americans, and as citizens of the world,” Comey said, speaking of the attack on the Murrah building that killed 168 people. “But it is not the moment that defines us. It is not the act itself that shapes our destiny. It is what comes next.”

He told Oklahomans that the bombing has “opened a hole in your heart that will never heal.” And yet, he added, “You have learned much from sorrow. You have learned that life is precious and time is short. You have learned courage and compassion and charity.”

In closing, Comey acknowledged, “There is evil in this world. You know that to be true. You have lived that truth. But know this: We in the FBI will do all that we can—all that we must—to find and stop that evil, so that you never again need to endure such darkness. We will do all that we can to ensure that justice and the rule of law trump savagery and hatred. We will do all that we can to keep you safe,” he said. “That is our standard.”