Priest believes McVeigh asked for forgiveness
NEW: Quiet returns to city that hosted execution
Survivors see evil in final, icy stare
No tears from victims
Witnesses see bomber take his final breaths
"Inmate McVeigh died at 7:14 a.m. Central Daylight Time. This concludes the execution, Warden Harley Lappin told witnesses inside the death house at the U.S. Penitentiary here.
McVeigh's final written statement - the 1875 British poem, "Invictus."
McVeigh, 33, was punished for the deadly April 19,1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building the worst act of terrorism on U.S. soil. He said nothing when the warden asked if he had any last statement.
Instead, McVeigh left behind a handwritten final statement, quoting in full the 1875 British poem, "Invictus. Its lines include: "My head is bloody, but unbowed and "I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.
He signed his initials, "T.J.M., and dated it June 11, 2001.
The choice disappointed Paul Howell, 64, of Oklahoma City, who was one of 10 victims witnessing the execution from behind a darkened window.
"I really wanted him to say something ... because when a person speaks, he also gives some facial expressions, and that was what I was looking for, said Howell, who lost his daughter, Karan Howell Shepherd, in the attack.
"What I was hoping for ... was (that) we could see some sort of, maybe, I'm sorry' ... but we didn't get anything from his face.
Outside the penitentiary, death penalty supporters cheered and clapped after learning of McVeigh's death. Protesters wept.
McVeigh wanted to die, preferring that over a life spent in prison, his attorneys said. He confessed publicly this year to the bombing but described himself as a soldier making a military-like retaliatory strike against a federal government run amok.
He timed his attack using a 7,000-pound bomb packed in a Ryder truck for the second anniversary of the deadly federal raid on the Branch Davidians religious compound near Waco, Texas.
The bombing in downtown Oklahoma City left 168 dead, including 19 children.
"I am sorry those people had to lose their lives. But that's the nature of the beast, McVeigh wrote in one of his final letters from prison.
After the execution, McVeigh attorney Rob Nigh said he felt bad that he "could not successfully help Tim to express words of reconciliation that he did not perceive to be dishonest.
But Nigh, of Tulsa, condemned the U.S. government for carrying out the execution the first of a federal inmate since a hanging 38 years ago.
"There has been a movement in the states to celebrate the dignity of human life and to start a moratorium on executions. It did not come soon enough for Tim McVeigh, but it can come soon enough for others. Where we go from here is a question of critical importance, Nigh said.
"If there is anything good that could come from the execution of Tim McVeigh, it may be to help us realize sooner that we simply cannot do this anymore. I am firmly convinced that it is not a question of if we will stop, it is simply a question of when.
McVeigh spent his final hours in a holding cell in the execution facility, just west of the main building.
His transfer from death row to the execution facility was completed at 4:30 a.m. Sunday. There, he watched TV on a black-and-white set, wrote good-bye letters, visited with his attorneys and slept.
His "official final meal came at noon Sunday two pints of mint chocolate chip ice cream bought outside the prison.
McVeigh again met with two of his attorneys, Nigh and Nathan Chambers, Monday morning, finishing at 5.
McVeigh showed little emotion while strapped to the gurney, beyond gulping once. Government officials told The Oklahoman that McVeigh who had described himself as agnostic was administered last rites, known as the Roman Catholic sacrament of the annointing of the sick, while on the gurney by a prison chaplain. McVeigh grew up in a Catholic family.
McVeigh also was "visibly nervous at first when Deputy Vigo County Coroner Kevin Mayes checked him for signs of abuse shortly after 6 a.m.
McVeigh agreed to the visual inspection to avoid an autopsy.
"After he started talking more, his bravado came back, the coroner, Dr. Susan Amos, said. "The longer he talked, the more he seemed like what his normal self would be like. ... He almost looked like he might be starting to tremble but not quite there. ... Then he did like the normal soldier thing and was going to face it square on.
McVeigh walked into the execution room and up to the gurney, calmly.
"He stepped up onto a small step and sat down on the table. ... He then positioned himself for us to apply restraints. He cooperated throughout this entire process, the warden said.
McVeigh died with his eyes open strapped to a gurney and covered to his chest with a folded white sheet, an IV for the poisons inserted in a vein in his right leg.
About 230 victims in Oklahoma City watched the execution through a closed-circuit telecast. They said McVeigh stared directly into the camera above him.
"There was no sign of suffering. There was no sign of discomfort. There was no sign of fear, said one witness, reporter Crocker Stephenson of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The warden said, "I anticipated this would be a very difficult thing to do, and it was. But I think today my thoughts and prayers are with the many victims of this tragedy in Oklahoma City.
McVeigh's body was removed from the execution facility after the coroner signed the death certificate. Amos listed the cause of death as "lethal injection and the manner of death as "homicide.
McVeigh's body was cremated Monday morning, said an employee at a Terre Haute funeral home.
The ashes were to be scattered or buried at a secret location. Nigh promised the ashes would not come to Oklahoma.
Turnout for the execution was much lower than expected. Prison officials had readied 40 buses to move demonstrators back and forth but didn't need that many.
Only about 50 death penalty supporters were present at the time of the execution at the designated demonstration site, marked off by orange fencing.
As the execution neared, they chanted, "Rot in Hell McVeigh. They carried signs that read "Bye Bye Baby Killer and "168 reasons.
"He's getting off way too easy. I just wish it was a lot more harsh than what it is, Peggy Harris, 26, of Terre Haute said. "I would like to be the one that pushes the needle in the arm that kills him.
At 7 a.m. the time set for the start of the execution the supporters chanted, "Die, McVeigh, Die.
Janet Johnson, 51, of Murphysboro, Ill., wore a T-shirt that read, "Remember the Victims.
"How can you kill babies and not feel remorse?, Johnson said. "You would almost have to be inhuman. He is evil.
Nearly five football fields away at the site of the anti-death penalty protest, the mood was somber. About 150 death penalty opponents clasped hands and stood in a circle, singing "We Shall Overcome at the time of execution.
"Remember the victims, but not with more killing read a huge banner there.
"It's a disgrace, said Sarah Kramer, 58, of Columbus, Ind., "We're all soiled by what happened here today. ... I wonder if other nuts will be inspired by this.
One man carried a sign that read, "Remember Waco.
Another protester, Bill Quigley, a professor at the University of Loyola in New Orleans, wondered if killing McVeigh will really comfort the victims.
"I hope this somehow helps them, but I would be surprised if it did, he said.
In Loveland, Colo., McVeigh juror Vera Chubb was certain Monday that justice had been done.
"Something good has come out of something bad. Our world is better without him, said Chubb, 69, "My tears haven't been for him, just tears for the dear people in Oklahoma.
In Washington, President Bush said, "This morning the United States of America carried out the severest sentence for the gravest of crimes. The victims of the Oklahoma City bombing have been given not vengeance, but justice. And one young man met the fate he chose for himself six years ago.
"For the survivors of the crime and for the families of the dead, the pain goes on. Final punishment of the guilty cannot alone bring peace to the innocent. It cannot recover the loss or balance the scales, and it is not meant to do so.
"Today every living person who was hurt by the evil done in Oklahoma City can rest in the knowledge that there has been a reckoning.
CONTRIBUTING: Staff writer Diane Plumberg