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Oklahoma City remembers

The Oklahoma City bombing is called the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil.  


OKLAHOMA CITY (CNN) -- Relatives attending a somber memorial in Oklahoma City stood silent for 168 seconds on Thursday, one second for each person killed in the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.

Church bells pealed "Amazing Grace" at the end of the quiet that Memorial Foundation chairman Rowland Denman warned "would feel like an eternity."

"As we have for the past six years, we come together today to honor and respect those who were so senselessly taken from us, those who have persevered (through) so much pain and those who worked so selflessly to help on that terrible morning," said Robert Johnson, chairman of the board of trustees of the Oklahoma City National Memorial.

CNN's Gary Tuchman reports from a memorial service on the sixth anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing

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Experience the memorial service, including 168 seconds of silence

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Painful memories in Oklahoma City
Lesson Plan: Oklahoma City remembers

"Your loved ones have not been forgotten and the memorial is a fitting tribute to assure that they never will be," he said.

The memorial and its 168 glass and bronze chairs, bearing the names of the victims, stand on the building's former site, which also holds an indoor museum.

The ceremony included the reading of the names of the victims -- as each name was read, family members walked to the chairs to sit or place flowers and mementos.

The ceremony took place less than a month from the scheduled execution of convicted bomber Timothy McVeigh.

"April is a very hard month for me to deal with," Dan McKinney, whose wife died in the bombing, said before the ceremony. "It used to be such a beautiful month. Now I wish we could just skip the whole month, it hurts so much."

Impending execution

Though a memorial has been held each year on April 19, this year it has gained added attention because of the impending execution of convicted bomber Timothy McVeigh.

Last week, Attorney General John Ashcroft met with those who want to witness McVeigh's May 16 execution and decided he would allow a viewing via closed-circuit television for survivors, family members and rescue workers.

The Justice Department released its plan for the viewing on Thursday, shortly after the memorial service. More than 250 people will be allowed to see McVeigh's execution at the training facility of the Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma City.

The Justice Department also said that it had chosen by lottery the 10 people from Oklahoma City who will travel to Terre Haute, Indiana, to witness the execution in person. Officials said they were in the process of notifying those 10.

The list includes seven members of families of deceased victims and three survivors of the blast, two of whom suffered physical injuries. They will view the execution from a viewing room adjacent to the death chamber in the federal prison in Terre Haute.

The government has also set aside a private area in Terre Haute for those who may want to be near the place of execution but were not selected in the lottery. They will not be able to observe the execution.

Wednesday, a federal judge turned down a request by Entertainment Network, Inc, an Internet company, to broadcast the execution on the Web . Company head David Marshlack has promised to appeal.

"If for some reason it was to hold up the execution, we'll withdraw from the appeal," Marshlack said. "We don't want to stop justice from being served; we just thought it would be all right to view it."

U.S. wants McVeigh webcast lawsuit dismissed
April 13, 2001
Bill Press: McVeigh to die on television
April 13, 2001
Ashcroft OKs closed TV feed of McVeigh execution
April 11, 2001
Ashcroft discusses McVeigh execution plan
April 10, 2001
FBI: McVeigh knew children would be killed in OKC blast
March 29, 2001
McVeigh autopsy deal says no 'invasive procedure'
March 19, 2001
Terrorism changes mind of death penalty opponents
March 6, 2001
McVeigh scheduled to die by lethal injection May 16
January 16, 2001
Judge says McVeigh can drop appeals
December 28, 2000
Roger Cossack on McVeigh request to end death penalty appeals
December 28, 2000
Oklahoma City bombing victims remembered, 5 years later
April 19, 2000
McVeigh: Gulf War killings led him on path to disillusionment
March 13, 2000
Grand jury finds McVeigh, Nichols acted alone in Oklahoma bombing
December 30, 1998
Oklahoma City bombing trial
March 1997
Timothy McVeigh and the death penalty
December 1996
McVeigh, Nichols plead not guilty in bombing
August 13, 1996

Federal Bureau of Investigation
U.S. Department of Justice
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
Oklahoma State Government
Death Penalty Information Center
U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons

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4:30pm ET, 4/16

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