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Thousands pour into reopened park

people by audio tower

July 30, 1996
Web posted at: 9:30 a.m. EDT

ATLANTA (CNN) -- Three days after a deadly bombing, Atlanta's Centennial Olympic Park reopened Tuesday with tighter security in evidence, but also with thousands of people determined to show they would not be intimidated by terrorism.

Some carried sympathy flowers as they passed through checkpoints at the park's four entrances. Others stood together inside the park and prayed.

Many immediately walked to the spot where a crude pipe bomb exploded last Saturday, killing one person and injuring 111. In addition, a Turkish cameraman died of a heart attack while running to cover the blast. Ten victims remained hospitalized Tuesday.

A memorial service for victims of the blast was planned for later in the morning at an outdoor stage close to where the bomb detonated.

"We can't let some weirdo ruin it for us," said a California woman who came to the park with her young daughter.

"I don't think we should feel intimidated," said a Georgia man, expressing a view held by many in the crowd.
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Many parents brought their children to the reopened 21-acre park in downtown Atlanta. "This is my freedom. I'm going to the park," said an Ohio woman who told CNN she and her husband extended their vacation so that their two boys could be at the reopening.

Asked if she was making a statement against terrorism, she responded, "I think we're making a statement for our children."
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people entering park

Once past security checkpoints, crowds were allowed to flow freely through the park. Signs at the entrances inform visitors they may be subject to random searches of their belongings.

There appeared to be no objections to the heightened security, which also includes a doubled police presence and additional surveillance systems. Visitors were not required to pass through metal detectors.

Correspondents Tony Clark and Bonnie Anderson contributed to this report.

Related story:

Olympic park bombing Sights and sounds
The investigation
The victims
Olympic security
Impact on the games
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