A Day For Remembering

A pair of somber anniversaries were marked on Sunday.

Hundreds gathered around a chain-link fence in Oklahoma City to remember 168 people that died in a bombing there three years ago. And in Waco, Texas, a new museum opened in remembrance of the 80 people killed in a fiery blaze at the Branch Davidian compound five years ago.

It took just seconds for terrorists to reduce Oklahoma City's Alfred P. Murrah Federal building to rubble. On Sunday, it took half an hour to read out the names of the men, women, and children who were killed.

At the memorial ceremony in Oklahoma, neither country singer Randy Travis' voice, nor a gift of bells from the cast of the CBS drama, Promised Land, could ease the pain, as survivors and relatives of the dead returned to ground zero.

"I just feel so empty inside. It's very hard to access joy," said Diane Leonard, whose husband, Don, was one of the victims of the bombing.

Leonard is still grieving the loss of her husband, a secret service agent, but she finds comfort in the fact that her city is healing and that he would approve.

"He would be very pleased to see his city growing again," she told CBS News Correspondent Jacqueline Adams.

Out of the rubble has come a multi-million dollar building boom. Oklahoma City opened a new minor league baseball stadium last Thursday; two churches near the bomb site have been restored and a series of stores, hotels and restaurants are on the drawing board.

The recovery has been emotional as well. Oklahomans boast that they've raised enough to finance the college careers of the 200 children who lost parents in the bombing. And residents have welcomed 800,000 visitors who come each year to this fence of remembrances.

For Gov. Frank Keating, the response is proof that good can conquer evil.

"We've taken an unanticipated tragedy like that and become a more spiritual people, become a more united people, more determined and committed people, to be a good society, and I think that's a wonderful message for all of America," Keating said.

In Waco, photos of David Koresh and about 80 of his followers who died with him were displayed in a museum that opened Sunday, on the fifth anniversary of the fire that ended the 51-day standoff between Koresh and federal authorities. The museum was built by a Branch Davidian and a handful of volunteers.

Davidian Sheila Martin lost her husband, a son, and three daughters. She said everyone remembers the building, but not the faces. She wanted people to see those she remembers.

Each of those who died in the fire will be remembered in the museum by a plaque and a tree planted at the Mount Carmel site. A model of the Davidians' compound before the fire also will be part of the exhibit.

©1998, CBS Worldwide Inc., All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report
  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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