James Finch, Special Agent in Charge, Oklahoma City FBI
James Finch says the bombing in Oklahoma City 20 years ago still is very much a part of the city's culture today. "It seems like it tragically changed the life of every Oklahoman on a public and personal level."
I think it’s very tangible. One of the things you become acutely aware of: you can talk to a small child or very elderly person in Oklahoma and what you will find, even though their way of expressing it will be vastly different, they will have an awareness. It seems to be a salient, horrific memory, regardless of the age group you talk to. If it’s a child and they weren’t born at that time, it’s almost like it was passed on. The schools, they are educated in it, they have toured the memorial. They know it’s a part of their existence as Oklahomans.
It seems like it tragically changed the life of every Oklahoman on a public and personal level, regardless who you talk to. But what you realize from that is they’re a resilient people.
It’s one of the things you will not find law enforcement take lightly. When we go around the state and we talk to our law enforcement partners about terrorism, whether it’s international terrorism or domestic terrorism, they have an acute awareness.
They may have never left the state of Oklahoma, but when you talk about terrorism, they think about Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols.
They think about the 168 people or the 149 adults and 19 children who perished, who came to the Alfred Murrah Federal Building on April 19th, 1995 and never went home. And they don’t want that to happen again.
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