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Remarks on the Bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

April 19, 1995

The bombing in Oklahoma City was an attack on innocent children and defenseless citizens. It was an act of cowardice, and it was evil. The United States will not tolerate it. And I will not allow the people of this country to be intimidated by evil cowards.

I have met with our team, which we assembled to deal with this bombing. And I have determined to take the following steps to assure the strongest response to this situation:

First, I have deployed a crisis management team under the leadership of the FBI, working with the Department of Justice, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, military and local authorities. We are sending the world's finest investigators to solve these murders.

Second, I have declared an emergency in Oklahoma City. And at my direction, James Lee Witt, the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is now on his way there to make sure we do everything we can to help the people of Oklahoma deal with the tragedy.

Third, we are taking every precaution to reassure and to protect people who work in or live near other Federal facilities.

Let there be no room for doubt: We will find the people who did this. When we do, justice will be swift, certain, and severe. These people are killers, and they must be treated like killers.

Finally, let me say that I ask all Americans tonight to pray—to pray for the people who have lost their lives, to pray for the families and the friends of the dead and the wounded, to pray for the people of Oklahoma City. May God's grace be with them.

Meanwhile, we will be about our work.

Thank you.

NOTE: The President spoke at 5:30 p.m. in the Briefing Room at the White House. The related proclamations of April 20 and April 21 are listed in Appendix D at the end of this volume.

William J. Clinton, Remarks on the Bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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