Dark day remembered
OKLAHOMA CITY - U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson urged people to remember and learn from the experience of the worst act of domestic terrorism on U.S. soil when he spoke Wednesday at an observance of the 22nd anniversary of the explosion at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.
HUD lost 35 employees in the bombing triggered by Timothy McVeigh. All told, the horrific act claimed the lives of 168 Oklahomans, including a native Lawtonian, Clarence "Gene" Wilson, who was chief legal counsel for HUD.
Carson said college students graduating this year may not have been born when the bombing happened, but they should know about it. He asked what they were learning on their campuses whether to get along with with people whose perspectives vary from theirs or to shut them down if they disagree. He said this shows there are "two different Americas."
"The question is, which is the one that we want?" Carson asked the audience. "Will they embrace the American spirit, or will they succumb to the forces of division and hatred as Timothy McVeigh did?"
McVeigh was convicted of the bombing and was later executed. Terry Nichols was convicted of conspiracy in connection with the bombing and is serving life in prison.