Frankly Speaking-Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating

Sunday, April 15th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating...
This week marks the sixth anniversary of the April 19, 1995 terror bombing in Oklahoma City. In less than a month, the perpetrator of that evil act will be executed. Add to that the publication of an ill-timed book depicting the warped life and twisted views of the mass murderer, and it's understandable that many Oklahomans are once again feeling strong emotions about the bombing. About the book, I can only echo the thoughts of many Oklahomans: Just because someone publishes a volume containing the ravings of an evil man doesn't mean I have to buy it. So I won't. The anniversary observance will take place at our beautiful Oklahoma City National Memorial, which we dedicated last spring on the fifth anniversary of the bombing. More recently, we opened the Memorial Center museum. If you haven't visited the Memorial and the Center, I urge you to do so. All Oklahomans should take special pride in the way we came together to create this place of remembrance, which is unique in the entire national park system as being managed and funded at the local level. Last week, Attorney General John Ashcroft visited Oklahoma to meet with bombing survivors and families, many of whom have expressed a desire to witness the execution of the killer. Throughout this ordeal, the Department of Justice has been most supportive of the Oklahoma family, and I am hopeful that by the time this article is published appropriate arrangements have been made. Still, with the anniversary, the book and the execution, the next few weeks will be difficult for our many neighbors who were traumatized in 1995. Healing is a slow, never-completed process, and every individual is different. In the immediate aftermath of the bombing, we stood with those neighbors. They are facing some difficult emotions once again, and it's important that we stand with them now. Let's remember them in our thoughts, our prayers and our hearts.