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Oklahoma City Bombing Anniversary Ceremony

Aired April 19, 2002 - 09:54   ET


PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: This morning marks the seventh anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, and this year the annual memorial service takes on special meaning. Some of the families who lost loved ones on September 11 at the World Trade Center will be joining the families of the 168 victims of the Oklahoma City bombing at today's service. And New York's Rev. Richard Del Rio (ph) will lead the invocation.

And that about wraps it up for all of us here on AMERICAN MORNING. Thanks, Jack. Thanks, Anderson.

We're going to go back to live pictures at this commemoration. In about five minutes or so, you will hear 168 seconds of silence, one for each victim killed in the blast, and then the ceremony will conclude after all of their names are read.

So we take you to our affiliate KOCO's coverage right now so we can all watch this commemoration.

Again, thanks for joining us this week.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you. May we never forget.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today is a day to remember. It is also a day to fulfill another important element of this memorial's mission, to educate all the visitors to the senselessness of violence, the senselessness of violence as a means of effecting government change or even resolving personal differences.

As we gather on this seventh anniversary, we no longer stand alone as a city attacked by terrorists. Seven months ago, three other American communities were changed forever by terrorism. They too now know the terror that filled our streets on this day seven years ago today. They too have experienced the courage of rescue workers and fellow citizens helping with care, compassion and commitment in the days and weeks that followed the attacks. They know too the shared response and generosity of citizens all across the country and in fact, around the world. They too now sense a need to share some of the lessons that have been learned, and they too now share a strong desire to do whatever they can to help ensure that no other community experience such a morning such as we experienced on April 19, 1995 and September 11, 2001.

Six Oklahomans died September 11, three at the World Trade Center and three at the Pentagon. Today we take time to honor the lives of David Barry (ph), Wayne Davis (ph), Ron Mylan (ph), Brian Moss (ph), David Rice (ph) and Chin Sung Pak Wells (ph). We welcome their families here today, and we honor the lives and memories that they have left behind.

Please join me also in welcoming to Oklahoma City several special guests from New York City. We were talking earlier about what a wonderful group this is today and how many of you there are. And I think part of the reason is that our Oklahoma City family has now been extended to include New York and Washington, D.C. and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. So it is wonderful to welcome our extended family from New York City.


Please join me in welcoming our special guests from New York, Anthony and Loraine Gardner (ph), Katherine Miller (ph), Monica Eikan (ph), Nicole Petracelli (ph), Michelle Dafozio (ph), Karen Wiley (ph), Stephanie tipping (ph), Arlene Tipping (ph), Maureen tipping Lipshe (ph), Arlene tipping Sistary (ph), Dorothy Lake (ph) and Kydra Lake (ph) and Cynthia McDay (ph). We are pleased to have you join us today.


We also have a World Trade Center survivor with us today, William Rodriguez (ph). And, William, we welcome you with us here also.


There are several that have traveled to New York -- to Oklahoma City from New York that are members of the New York Task Force One. They were one of the first rescue teams on the site here in Oklahoma City, and I'd like to welcome Mike Hansen (ph) and Kirk Wargo (ph). Kirk (ph) recently retired from the New York Task Force One. We welcome both of you, Mike and Kirk (ph).


We also have several other first responders from New York with us this morning. Keri Highland (ph), Bruce May (ph) and William Polocano (ph), all from the New York Police Department. If you would raise your hands so we can welcome you.


We are glad that it's not raining, but we always have the Oklahoma wind. We also have several representatives from the New York Fire Department. Would you please join me in welcoming Danny Highland (ph), Danny Bowman (ph), Robert Domingo (ph), Robert Pertilla (ph) and Kevin Hanifen (ph)?


Also joining us from New York are Lisa Kaplin (ph) and Lawrence Wallace (ph). There are possibly others. I hope that we got everyone recognized. If we didn't, please know that we welcome each and every one of you, and hopefully you will consider Oklahoma City your second home -- thank you.


There's another special guest with us this morning, William H. Parrish (ph). William is the director of the antiterrorism office for the U.S. Customs office. So, William, we recognize you and look forward to hearing your comments later this morning. We also welcome you all here and hope that you can learn from our shared experience.

In times of disaster, we have come to count on a number of our service organizations, like the American Red Cross. They have been involved, and still are today, in the recovery of Oklahoma City following the bombing here in '95. They have also been instrumental in the recovery process and healing since 911. Please welcome Mr. Bob Bender, who is the CEO of the Greater New York Chapter of the Red Cross -- Mr. Bender.


BOB BENDER, RED CROSS, GREATER NEW YORK CHAPTER: I am really honored to be invited to come, and thank you, Linda, very much for that. It is good to be with you all today on this seventh anniversary. You know, on behalf of a grateful city, I would like to thank the people of Oklahoma for the outpouring of love and generosity and aid that occurred after September 11 in New York. Oklahomans understood what was going on in New York, understood the dimensions of the tragedy, and really responded absolutely magnificently.

Along with a lot of emergency personnel, who responded from here, there was a cadre of very special volunteers who came to New York to work with families who were affected by this. And the cadre was made up of families and survivors who experienced losses in Oklahoma City on April 19. They came, they comforted, they counseled, they worked with families in New York, and they did more than anybody else could, because they truly understood. And that really was magnificent.

We are especially grateful to the families who came up and worked with families in New York, because the trip was a very difficult one and it was a painful one. I talked to some families who came to New York last night, and they described some of the emotions they were feeling as they were in New York. And it was not an easy event, and they had real courage to be there, to work with us, to understand the shock and sadness and sort of disbelief and horror of the events of April 19 and the events of September 11. You know, we really were overwhelmed by their selflessness.

The New York fire and police department was here and certainly was reunited with some of the victims and residents and survivors, was reunited in Manhattan, and it was very touching. They really helped us through. You know, one of the things that happened (UNINTELLIGIBLE) it was very moving was Oklahoma sent thousands of teddy bears to New York. There were literally thousands of them.

KAGAN: We have been listening to a ceremony marking the seventh anniversary of the bombing at Oklahoma City this year, particularly remarkable in that there are a number of people there from New York City, members of the New York Fire Department and the New York Police Department; also a survivor from the World Trade Center, and also a number of people who lost loved ones on those attacks -- during the attacks on 9/11.

BENDER: We had the teddy bears in our Family Assistance Center.

KAGAN: And you can take an interactive look at some of the things that are on display at the Oklahoma City Memorial Museum by logging onto Among the exhibits is the clock that memorializes the exact time of the blast. AOL keyword is CNN.




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