Oklahoma City, Oklahoma - Attorney General Eric Holder released the following statement to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing:
“Twenty years ago, domestic terrorists struck at the heart of all that this country stands for – liberty, democracy and the rule of law. The toll of their heinous and cowardly act – in lives lost and families shattered – devastated our public servant community and shook the confidence and faith of our nation. But through the resilience of Oklahomans and the strength of the American people, we recommitted ourselves to the fundamental values that make this country a beacon of freedom, fairness and opportunity. In the years since, the Department of Justice has rededicated itself to the fight against homegrown threats and has been aggressive in going after those who would inflict violence on their fellow citizens. Our measures have been effective and our record is strong, but we must remain vigilant – public servants and citizens alike – in our efforts to identify potential threats before they cause harm.
“To that end, last year, I relaunched the Justice Department’s Domestic Terrorism Executive Committee, which had originally been established by Attorney General Janet Reno in response to the bombing in Oklahoma City. Through its meetings and ongoing efforts, the committee serves as a vital forum for members of the Justice Department, the FBI and a number of other law enforcement agencies across the federal government to assess and share information about domestic terror threats and developments. It is a part of the critical progress we have made in the wake of Oklahoma City. And it is one of the many ways in which we pay tribute to the lives and the legacies of the 168 men, women, and children who were taken from us on that tragic day two decades ago.
“As we mark this somber anniversary and as many gather at what is now a beautiful and inspiring memorial in Oklahoma City, our thoughts and prayers are with those who lost lives and loved ones. We will continue to honor their memory. And in the days, months and years ahead, we will continue to uphold the values of this nation – a nation that stands strong, a nation that overcomes and a nation that moves forward, inexorably, toward that more perfect Union our founders imagined for us all.”