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President Bush Dedicates Oklahoma City Memorial

Aired February 19, 2001 - 4:16 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

JOIE CHEN, CNN ANCHOR: President Bush and his wife, Laura, traveled to Oklahoma City today for the opening of a museum devoted to the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil. The Oklahoma City National Memorial Center is dedicated to that horrible spring day nearly six years ago when a massive truck bomb tore through the Murrah Federal Building.

CNN national correspondent Tony Clark is again for us in Oklahoma City -- Tony.

TONY CLARK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Joie, the museum, the memorial center, now opened. In fact, people are lined up behind me to go in, to in many cases, relive, experience and pay tribute to the people who were killed in the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil some six years ago.

The dedication ceremonies today began with a very solemn note: 168 seconds of silence for not only those who were killed and 500 who were injured in the attack, but also a nation which was changed forever.

At end of the moment of silence, the gathered -- those gathered here today were told: "It is a long time. There are many, many lives."

President and Mrs. Bush joined the ceremony, dedication ceremony today. Before coming outside, they got a chance to walk through the museum briefly. The president saying it is very powerful. He had a chance to look at the hundreds of photographs, the artifacts, the items and personal recollections that bring back what happened nearly six years ago on this site.

Oklahoma City, he said later, will always be one of those places where the best and the worst came to pass.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Hardest of all is the lots of the children, of the lives taken so soon after they were given. I hope it helps to remember that we are never closer to God than when we grieve. Faith is tested in suffering, and faith is often born in suffering for that is when we seek the hope we most need.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CLARK: In fact, this is being described as a shrine to the power of good over evil. It is being described as a place where hope is the lasting legacy of what happened here in Oklahoma City.

Tony Clark, CNN, Oklahoma City.

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