The bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building 27 years ago changed Oklahoma forever and will forever be remembered in Oklahoma. But at the U.S. Department of Justice, April 19, 1995 also stirs up very significant memories and emotions.
“Every year on this day, we remember those who were killed when a domestic terrorist bombed the [federal building] in Oklahoma City, taking the lives of 168 people, including 19 children, and seriously injuring hundreds of others," said U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland in a statement Tuesday.
Garland was a top Justice Department official at the time of the bombing, asked to be put on the case, and then helped assemble the legal team and lay the groundwork for both the investigation and the prosecution.
“The Justice Department apprehended, prosecuted, and convicted the men responsible for the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building," Garland's statement continues. "As we did, we never forgot the victims, in whose memories we worked."
Congressman Frank Lucas, who wasn't even in office for a year on the day of the bombing, also remembered the victims Tuesday..
“Like every April 19th since 1995, I pray for the children, mothers, fathers, and neighbors who are no longer with us.”
“27 years later, the pain and loss of that tragedy still strikes the core of who we are," tweeted the 2nd District's Markwayne Mullin. "May we remain resilient and #OklahomaStrong.”
That strength, in the most difficult of circumstances, has also not been forgotten.
“Oklahomans shined triumphantly and showed the world that evil will never overcome good and decency," said Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK4) in a statement.
“[W]e introduced the nation to the Oklahoma Standard," said Senator James Lankford (R-OK), "the remarkable way Oklahomans immediately step in to show love and help our neighbors stand up, clean up, and help begin the healing process.”
It's a standard that Garland says we need more of Tuesday..
“[W]e must stand together against the kind of hatred that leads to tragedies like that one. Today, we are also reminded of the grace and resilience demonstrated by the Oklahoma City community, which refused to allow hate and division to win.”
Here are the full statements from all below:
Merrick Garland, US Attorney General:
“Every year on this day, we remember those who were killed when a domestic terrorist bombed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, taking the lives of 168 people, including 19 children, and seriously injuring hundreds of others.
And every year on this day, we commemorate the strength of the Oklahoma City community that came together in the face of that loss.
The Justice Department apprehended, prosecuted, and convicted the men responsible for the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building. As we did, we never forgot the victims, in whose memories we worked.
Twenty-seven years later, the Justice Department remains vigilant in the face of the threat of domestic terrorism. We believe that the time to address threats of violence is before the violence occurs, so we are putting our resources into disrupting terrorist plots. We also remain committed to holding accountable those who perpetrate such attacks, which are aimed at rending the fabric of our democratic society and driving us apart.
Today, as we remember Oklahoma City, we must stand together against the kind of hatred that leads to tragedies like that one. Today, we are also reminded of the grace and resilience demonstrated by the Oklahoma City community, which refused to allow hate and division to win.”
Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK):
“27 years have passed since the tragedy in Oklahoma City that shaped our state. We will never forget the one hundred and sixty-eight lives lost in what was the worst homegrown terrorist attack in history. I had close friends who died and I know so many others who lost family, friends and loved ones. What we now know as the Oklahoma Standard came from the acts of kindness that occurred afterwards—a truly inspiring display of communities throughout Oklahoma coming together to heal. Today, we take extra time to pray for the families and loved ones of those lost and the first responders who risked their lives for us all.”
Sen. James Lankford (R-OK):
“We still feel the pain and loss of that day. Each April 19th, we pause to remember the victims, survivors, their families, the first responders, and everyone impacted by that fateful day in 1995 when 168 lives were lost in the worst act of domestic terrorism our nation had ever known,” said Lankford. “But out of the terrible tragedy, we introduced the nation to the Oklahoma Standard—the remarkable way Oklahomans immediately step in to show love and help our neighbors stand up, clean up, and help begin the healing process. As we remember the fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, and friends who were taken from us that day, we continue to show the nation how to pray and take care of each other in times of overwhelming loss.”
Rep. Kevin Hern (R-OK1):
"Today marks the 27th anniversary of the horrific OKC bombings which claimed the lives of 168 Oklahomans and changed the lives of countless others. We will never forget this act of terror - nor the resilience of spirit that Oklahomans showed in its aftermath."
Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK2):
"April 19, 1995 forever changed our lives here in Oklahoma. Today we remember and mourn the 168 people who perished in the #okcbombing. 27 years later, the pain and loss of that tragedy still strikes the core of who we are. May we remain resilient and #OklahomaStrong."
Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK3):
“Twenty-seven years ago, in a moment fueled by hatred, our state and our country were scarred by a violent tragedy. Every year, on the 19th of April, Oklahomans pause to remember the 168 innocent Oklahomans who lost their lives, those who survived, and those whose lives were forever changed. As we pause today to reflect on the loss so many Oklahomans endured that horrific day, our state also honors the heroic actions that arose from first responders and Oklahomans- as well as the spirit of community and kindness we now know as the Oklahoma Standard. Today, like every April 19th since 1995, I pray for the children, mothers, fathers, and neighbors who are no longer with us- may their memory continue to help us strive for a future full of hope, kindness, and strength.”
Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK4)
“Even after 27 years, Oklahomans still remember the pain and suffering and mourn the 168 lives innocently and senselessly lost on April 19, 1995. Although this unconscionable act of terror forever changed our lives and left lasting holes in our communities, Oklahomans shined triumphantly and showed the world that evil will never overcome good and decency. I will always be grateful for the sacrifices, courage and dedication of the first responders and the support from communities and civilians across the nation. Today, we remember those we lost, honor those who were up to the task to help us through it and remain grateful that we live in the greatest, freest, most compassionate country in the world.”
Rep. Stephanie Bice (R-OK5):
"We will never forget the moms, the dads, the sisters, brothers, sons and daughters, who never made it home that day, and their loved ones whose lives were changed forever."