Terrorism: A new American way?
Bombing brings memories too close to home for U.S.
July 28, 1996
From Correspondent Anne McDermott
ATLANTA (CNN) -- Oklahoma City started it all -- the spectacle of spectacular home-grown horror.
What broke so many Americans were the babies. How could someone hurt them? How could someone kill them? And why in the Heartland?
It was shocking and painful and awful when U.S. troops were killed in a bomb blast in Saudi Arabia last month, but the hurt was lessened for many because it didn't take place here in America.
But it is incredible to believe a U.S. jet, taking off from a U.S. airport, could be a terrorist target. And although investigators have not said that criminal activity brought down TWA Flight 800 last Wednesday, it is a definite possibility, if not a probability.
And then a bomb blast at the Olympic Games, right here in the United States. Impossible, we would have thought, just a few years ago. No way. Couldn't be. Never happen.
But it did happen. And some see this terrorism as America's brutal coming of age, in a very brutal world.
As one woman in Atlanta put it, "I'm really kind of surprised, to tell you the truth, that we've gone this long without acts of terror.
"I believe that probably it will continue," she said. "It is a sad commentary that people have to be so fearful."
A worried nation
At a Los Angeles coffee shop, they're still taking it all in. "It just sort of really hits at home," said one young man.
Reflected his friend, "It's a sad and bad feeling, leaves a sour taste in your mouth."
However, many people, say they may be traumatized and scared, but they won't let terror rule their life.
In Jerusalem, meanwhile, a former Olympic athlete watches the news of terror in Atlanta and remembers back 24 years to similar terror in Munich. Esther Roth, present at the 1972 Munich Olympics, says it gives her no pleasure to see Americans learn about terrorism as she had to.
"Now they see it's all over the world."
© 1996 Cable News Network, Inc.
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