Governor Brad Henry speaks of legacy at Oklahoma City bombing anniversary ceremony - - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - |

Governor Brad Henry speaks of legacy at Oklahoma City bombing anniversary ceremony

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) It's been 11 years since Secret Service agent Mickey Maroney was killed in the Oklahoma City bombing, but recalling the circumstances of his tragic death still brings tears to the eyes of his children, Alice Denison and Mickey Paul Maroney.

Denison and Maroney hugged each other and grimaced with emotion Wednesday as they and the sons and daughters of some of the bombing's other 167 victims read their names during a ceremony that marked the 11th anniversary of the deadliest act of domestic terrorism in U.S. history.

``It's very important we never forget,'' said Bill Cleveland of Stigler as he placed a bouquet of flowers on a chair dedicated to his daughter, Pamela Cleveland Argo, that is part of a permanent memorial to the victims.

Survivors and relatives of those killed brought photographs of the victims, personal mementos and other reminders to place on a field of empty chairs that mark the former site of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.

Gov. Brad Henry reminded mourners of the outpouring of support from around the world after the attack, and he again thanked rescue workers who saved lives in the wreckage of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.

``The legacy of April 19, 1995, is goodness overcoming evil,'' the governor said. ``That's what we must remember.''

Jim Denny brought his children, Rebecca and Brandon, to the ceremony. The children were severely injured in a daycare center on the federal building's second floor. A total of 19 children were killed in the blast.

He also thanked those who helped after the bombing.

``I think it's important that people know that we care a lot about them just as 11 years ago they cared a lot about us,'' Jim Denny said.

To honor those who died, participants of the ceremony on the former site of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building observed 168 moments of silence at 9:02 a.m., the moment when the blast occurred on April 19, 1995.

About a dozen survivors of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York City placed a wreath on the former site of the federal building and read a letter from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg praising an exchange program in which survivors of the federal building bombing lend support 9-11 survivors.

``It's been 11 years since our tragedy,'' Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett said. ``I think you witnessed this morning this is still very much a part of our lives.''

Mike Dempsey, who was injured by falling debris outside the World Trade Center, said his group is particularly interested in the process used to create the Oklahoma city National Memorial and Museum.

``We're having issues now with our memorial process,'' Dempsey said. ``We gain more strength from being here.''

``We learned pretty quick in Oklahoma that it takes all of us,'' said Calvin Moser, a Housing and Urban Development employee who survived the attack in Oklahoma City.

Following the observance, two granite memorials to the children killed in the bombing and to rescue workers were dedicated at the First United Methodist Church located adjacent to the former site of the federal building.

The nine-story building was destroyed when a cargo truck packed with 4,800 pounds of ammonium nitrate and fuel oil was detonated near its entrance. Aside from the 168 killed, more than 800 others were injured.

Timothy McVeigh was apprehended less than two hours after the bombing. He was convicted of federal murder charges and executed on June 11, 2001. Terry Nichols, who met McVeigh in the Army, was convicted on federal and state bombing charges and is serving multiple life prison sentences.

Another Army buddy, Michael Fortier, pleaded guilty to not telling authorities in advance about the bomb plot and agreed to testify against McVeigh and Nichols. Fortier was released from a federal prison in January after serving about 85 percent of a 12-year sentence.

Prosecutors said the bombing was a twisted attempt to avenge the deaths of about 80 people in the government siege at the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, exactly two years earlier.
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