Most of us who have been in law enforcement for at least 14 years will remember the upcoming anniversary of the bombing of the Alfred Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Sunday will mark the 14th anniversary of that awful April 19, 1995 morning when hundreds of federal employees and visitors were going to work in that federal building.
Eight federal law enforcement agents died that morning, along with 160 other Americans. That figure includes 19 small children who were in the daycare center. In total 168 lives were lost at the hands of a disgruntled and radicalized homegrown terrorist. No, he was not from a distant land, he and his accomplice were born and raised right here in America.
I remember where I was, as people from across the country responded. Law enforcement agents representing the full spectrum of agencies were working round the clock to find out who the killers were, why they did what they did, and whether there would be others attacks. Others were providing search-and-rescue support, and attending to the loved ones of those that were killed.
I, along with others from the U.S. Marshal Service and the U.S. Federal Protective Service, were tasked by the White House with assessing the level of security of all remaining federal buildings and facilities.
Whatever role we were filling, the questions remained in the back of our minds, haunting us: How could this happen at home, on American soil? Where will it happen again? When?
That question was answered 6 years later, when another group of murderous individuals (this time from abroad) struck. The sight of men, women and children being carried from the rubble will always scar America’s memory.
So on Sunday, the 14th anniversary of the Oklahoma City Attack, I would ask that you add 3 prayer – one for the cops and civilians that gave their lives that day; one for the families and loved ones who survived and still live the terrible emotions of their loss 14 years later; and the last for the folks in law enforcement and the military that are keeping us safe each and every day.