The federal building in Oklahoma City was deliberately rebuilt only three stories tall because, among other reasons, workers feared that the height of the previous one, the 9-story Murrah Building, contributed to the number of dead. The new one, completed in December 2003 is located just north of the memorial to the victims of Timothy McVeigh and the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
Inside that building is everything despised by McVeigh and Terry Nichols and the legion of survivalist zealots who have believed the end is nigh for decades. That includes a United States Marine Corps recruiting station. McVeigh was not a Marine. He was in the Army. However, certain beliefs and knowledge were inculcated in him while in the U.S. Military. And now, there, overlooking the site where one of the military's own, McVeigh, used his weapons knowledge to murder 168 people, is an office set up to specifically recruit young Americans to join in the kind of training that Timothy McVeigh had. God, how we disregarded the hallowed ground right in front of the new building.
Sure, you might say, he killed military people, too. But that doesn't matter. What matters is that Timothy McVeigh, under the pretense of guarding the country, became adept with guns and bomb-making materials. And he met Nichols, another soldier, who joined with McVeigh to attack the United States.
Yet the inclusion of a USMC recruitment post didn't stir a whit of controversy. Imagine if hundreds of people had showed up to protest the military office. Imagine how they would have been treated. Imagine the defense: "Sure, the only purpose of the military is to destroy those who oppose America, but that doesn't mean that everyone involved is a stone cold killer. In fact, there's only a small percentage of members of the military who are potentially murderous neo-Nazis. Sleeper cells, if you will. There's no reason to discredit the entire military." Or, more likely, "That's just fucking insane."
Just like the entire debate over the Muslim community center a couple of blocks from the future Freedom Tower.
(There's just two more chances to see Heterosexuals, the Rude Pundit's new play:
Monday, August 23 at 8 pm
Wednesday, August 25 at 2 pm
All performances at The Cherry Pit at 155 Bank St.)