On this day I'm posting a click here for full speech delivered by my brother to Oklahoma Conference of Churches 02/11/03:
Instead of the frightful overreaction we have witnessed since September 11th,
our nation would do better if it would respond to terrorism the way the people
of Oklahoma responded to the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building. That bomb
did not prompt us to surrender our civil rights or to infringe on the rights of
others. Unlike our federal government:
We did not suspend the
We did not send the police out to round-up, lock-up or
expel all the foreigners and immigrants in town.
We did not hold
suspects indefinitely without access to the courts or to counsel.
not tape conversations between suspects and their lawyers.
We did not
suspend the laws requiring probable cause for wiretaps or search warrants.
We did not expand the role of the military in domestic law enforcement.
We did not torture suspects to obtain information, nor did we allow
surrogates to torture suspects for information.
We did not create a
military tribunal to try and execute suspects without applying the Constitution
or state and federal laws.
We did not endorse assassination as an
alternative to capture.
We did not create a private foundation to issue
ID cards to all citizens.
We did not create a network of free-lance
spies to report anything that might be considered suspicious.
We did not
create a massive computer system to keep tabs on every aspect of our citizen’s
And, we did not use the bombing as an excuse to suspend the
first, second, and fourth amendments and then attack militias or invade white
supremacist compounds to make them disarm.
What we did was to rescue
survivors, clean-up the wreckage, rebuild our city and bring the criminals to
justice. The bombing of the Murrah Federal Building did not destroy the
freedom-loving, risk-taking, self-sacrificing spirit of the people of Oklahoma.
Neither should the criminal acts of a few terrorists destroy the freedom-loving,
risk-taking, self-sacrificing spirit of our nation.
Since September 11,
2001 it has become commonplace to say that the world changed that day. Some
things did change. Several thousand precious, unique and irreplaceable lives
were lost and the lives of many more were irreparably harmed.
object, however, to assigning any significance to the evil that transpired that
day. In my mind, the most important lesson to be learned from that day is to be
found in the images of heroism and the examples of self-sacrifice demonstrated
by the men and women of the New York City fire department and police department
and others like them.
We need to learn from the people who left places
where they were safe and secure and walked courageously into harm’s way to
rescue the victims of a grave injustice. From them we learn that there are some
things in life that are more important than safety and more valuable than