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Remarks and an Exchange With Reporters on the Oklahoma City Bombing

April 21, 1995

The President. I wanted to make a couple of points. First of all, I was briefed late last evening by the Attorney General on the status of the investigation, and I am well satisfied with the efforts that are being made, the progress that's being made. I would just ask that you and the American people not rush to any conclusions unsupported by known evidence and that we give the investigators the space they need to do their job. They are working hard; they are moving ahead.

The second thing I'd like to say is that Hillary and I have decided to go to Oklahoma City on Sunday to be a part of the memorial service and to be with the families of the victims and the people of Oklahoma City. I think all America will be there in spirit and is there today, and I have determined that I should also declare Sunday a national day of mourning for the victims there and to ask people in their places of worship and in their homes all across America to pray for the people there and for the community.

The final thing I'd like to say is just a brief message to the children of this country. I have been very concerned with how the children in Oklahoma City and, indeed, the children throughout America must be reacting to a horror of this magnitude. And my message to the children is that this was an evil thing and the people who did it were terribly, horribly wrong. We will catch them, and we will punish them.

But the children of America need to know that almost all the adults in this country are good people who love their children and love other children, and we're going to get through this. We're going to get through this. I don't want our children to believe something terrible about life and the future and grownups in general because of this awful thing. Most adults are good people who want to protect our children in their childhood, and we are going to get through this.

Q. Mr. President, do you know of any progress in the investigation?

The President. You know I'm not going to comment. I'm letting the Justice Department announce progress. I don't think that it's appropriate for me to say anything, except I can tell you that I know what they've done and the American people would be very pleased and very impressed by the work they are doing. But this is a big issue, and we don't want to undermine their ability to work by anything that is said or by jumping to unwarranted conclusions.

NOTE: The President spoke at 10 a.m. on the South Lawn at the White House, prior to his departure for Havre de Grace, MD. The proclamation declaring a national day of mourning is listed in Appendix D at the end of this volume.

William J. Clinton, Remarks and an Exchange With Reporters on the Oklahoma City Bombing Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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