‘We should all live by the Oklahoma Standard’, President Bill Clinton remembers April 19, 1995

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Words of comfort, remembrance, hope and resilience were spoken by former President Bill Clinton as he spoke at the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum Remembrance Ceremony.

Clinton was president when the bombing happened, and he traveled to Oklahoma days after the event. He has returned often to pay tribute to those who died, survived, rescue personnel and to all affected by the bombing.

"You reminded us we should all live by the Oklahoma Standard," said Clinton during the remembrance ceremony on the 20th anniversary.

Recalling what residents of Oklahoma City have done for others as part of the Oklahoma Standard, Clinton reminded Americans that "When you strip away all the little things that divide us, it's important to remember how tied we are, and how much we, all Americans, owe Oklahoma City."

Clinton also made note of his friendship with Nelson Mandela.

"He taught me a lot of things from his 27 years in prison. He taught me that in the face of tragedy, evil, and loss, there are only two things that always remain...that can never be taken away...Your mind and your heart. We must decide what to do with them no matter what happens," Clinton said.

"Oklahoma City, you have chosen well."

After the bombing took its initial toll, Oklahoma City was reoriented toward a brighter future...reviving downtown, and growing faster and more prosperous than ever before.

"But the material gains were incidental. Every family here who lost someone would give it all up in a heartbeat to have their loved ones back," Clinton said.

Clinton thanked the country and Oklahoma City for letting him do what he could to help in the wake of the bombing.

"All I ask is that you never forget that you made the right choice. God bless you."

Watch his powerful and moving speech.


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