I clearly remember April 19, 1995, when Timothy McVeigh destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Building and murdered 168 people in what became known as the Oklahoma City Bombing. Â At the time, it was not known who was responsible for the bombing, but I remember news reporters wondering if it was a coincidence that the bombing had occurred on the 2 year anniversary of the invasion of the Branch Davidian Compound in Waco, TX.Â Â Â That invasion by federal forces ended a 51 day siege of the compound and resulted in the deaths of 86 people, 4 of them officers.Â Â Â McVeigh later said that the governmentâ€™s mishandling of that situation and a smaller incident at Ruby Ridge had sparked his rage which caused this murderous action.
On April 20, 1999, when teenage boys decided to shoot up their classmates (and fortunately failed in their attempt to blow up the school), in the Columbine school shooting again reporters were wondering if these incidents affected the choice of dates.Â Since these boys were a day off, if they were trying to pay tribute to the fallen at Waco and/or Oklahoma, and since the diaries released by one of the boys is more about his own immortality than any government action, I find this to be unlikely.Â
Now it is April 19, again and there are those who wonder if another incident is to be feared.Â Some have even suggested that the Tea Party movement may plan some sort of violence in honor of the day, a claim which I think is overreaching, considering that while any grassroots movement may attract kooks, the Tea Party has been pretty clear about being 1. Non-violent and 2. About fiscal responsibility , not violent overthrow.Â Â Â In past years, I know people who have held their kids out of school, avoided public gathering places and even cancelled events in fear of this date.Â This sort of reaction gives the day more power, especially when there is no evidence and have been no credible threats in regard to April 19th this year.Â
We honor the dead best by living our lives to the fullest.Â Not taking foolish chances, but also not hiding in our homes attempting to protect ourselves and our families over every little risk, which is impossible anyway.Â Letâ€™s get out and make new, happy memories for April 19, 2010.