Any anniversary is hard for those losing a loved one to whatever cause. Birthday. Wedding. Day of death. Rounded anniversaries — 10 years, 15 years, 50 — aren’t necessarily more significant to the survivors than an "ordinary” mark of time.
They seem to matter more to the media and society than to the survivors. They matter most to those who exploit anniversaries for a political agenda or to rekindle the long-doused fires of conspiracy theories.
Fifteen years after, this is a better city than it was on April 19, 1995. It is larger, more diverse, more prosperous, more generous in its offering of things to do and things to see. But how much better would it be had McVeigh and his co-conspirator not robbed us of the talents of those 168 people? What would they have contributed?
We can’t know. This is a heartbreaking, ongoing aftershock of that seismic moment in time.
We built a memorial and we comforted the survivors of later and deadlier acts of terrorism. We will mark the 15th anniversary with more than a moment of silence because each victim deserves individual and thoughtful remembrance.
We are all 15 years older now, each of us moving, minute by minute, imperceptibly, toward the sunset of our own lives. Moments in time, both the marvelous and the horrible, will one day not matter.
Until then, it is apt that we remember how a moment in time became the moment of eternity for 168 of our fellow citizens. And what we did in response.
The above is adapted from an editorial originally published on April 17, 2005.