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Service held to mark 20 years since Oklahoma City bombing

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    Speakers, including former President Bill Clinton, fourth from left, stand at the opening of ceremonies to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, at the Oklahoma City National Memorial.
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OKLAHOMA CITY >> About 1,000 people gathered Sunday to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, which was the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil until the Sept. 11 attacks six years later.

Former President Bill Clinton and Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin were among those who spoke at Sunday’s service at the Oklahoma City National Memorial, where the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building once stood.

The service started with a 168-second moment of silence to honor each of the 168 people who died in the April 19, 1995, attack. It concluded about 90 minutes later with survivors and tearful relatives of the dead reading the names of those killed.

“This was a place of unspeakable horror and tragedy,” Frank Keating, who was Oklahoma’s governor at the time of the attack, told the gathering. He called the attack “unforgivable.”

Timothy McVeigh, an Army veteran with strong anti-government views, planned the bombing as revenge for the deadly standoff between the FBI and Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas, that killed more than 70 people on April 19, 1993 — exactly two years earlier.

McVeigh was convicted on federal murder and conspiracy charges in 1997 and executed in 2001.

His Army buddy, Terry Nichols, was convicted on federal and state bombing-related charges and is serving multiple life sentences in a federal prison.

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