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Reflecting 15 years later



I was standing in my kitchen 15 years ago with the window open, smelling the fresh air of a beautiful morning, thinking Tinker Air Force Base was doing something. I could hear them testing aircraft engines many times before, but this sounded more like one of the pilots had briefly hit the sound barrier by accident.

My passing curiosity was abruptly changed with another sound, the ring of a telephone. My wife was calling; she was leaving the Federal Aviation Administration and had heard on the radio that something had happened downtown at the Alfred P. Murrah federal building. She could also see smoke rising from that direction as she headed east on Interstate 240.

Thus began many weeks of shock, sorrow, anger, confusion, lots of prayer for the victims and the emergency workers and, of course, more anger, bordering on rage. I had a deep, unrelenting sadness for the city that I love so much, the city I was raised in, the city I had bragged about proudly whenever possible and the city I have been so happy to return to so many times. "Why?" is the perpetual question that still seems unanswered.

Both Ruby Ridge and Waco were inexcusably avoidable tragedies. Yes, it goes without saying that many on the federal level should have been held responsible. But what was this despicably horrifying act supposed to prove or accomplish? How does this rectify the injustice? This act was completely devoid of rational thought and will affect many, none of which had anything to do with the aforementioned for many, many years to come.

It's ironic that the unadulterated hate and rage I feel toward the perpetrator of this attack is probably connected somehow to the hate and rage he felt as well. The difference is that he was blinded by the emotion to the extent of ignoring reason, if he was capable of reason. The result was death and suffering for innocent people. Maybe this is the lesson to be learned.

Fifteen years later, I seem to be back to the same bragging for our little town with the same emotional enthusiasm. Many of the scars seem to be healed, well, as much as they probably will be, anyway.

I find myself hoping and praying that the people most effected by this tragic moment in time are doing the same, moving on as best as they can. I think it's what God would want us to do, however difficult it might be. Although I know for some, this will be most likely impossible.
I pray for you all. God bless you. May you find peace.
"Doug Rixmann

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