To some people it triggers thoughts to Columbine, others Hitler's birthday. Couple those dark memories with the one yesterday (anniversary of OKC bombing) and you have two pretty sad days in an otherwise typical moment in spring. It certainly makes you wonder just what the world would be like today, if those events had never taken place, at all.
But they did. And we all must learn to live with it.
As harsh as it sounds, that is the only thing we can do. We can't go back and change it and we can never heal if we don't stop beating ourselves up over it. Like 9/11, we were caught off guard by Columbine and OKC. No one could have ever imagined that people could be so mean and hateful, as to kill innocent people, for no damned good reason right here in America. (I know some apologists love to give their reasons, but I cannot find any good one, not one)
It was established that the killers in Columbine picked April 20 as the day of their attack, in part, because it was Hitler's birthday. How an evil man that came close to plunging a continent (and possibly the world) into an oppressive nightmare could still have an effect on some people, is beyond me.
In the OKC bombing, the known conspirators were known to be affiliated with neo-fascist hate groups. The influence of Hitler was prevalent in their ideology and certainly affected their thinking enough to commit the worst terror attack on US soil, up to that time. Now we are learning that there may be much more to the attack, than we have previously been led to believe.
Looking back now, we can see what we missed. We can beat ourselves up for not seeing (what we spent months after the fact investigating) the signs. We can continue to point fingers and blame. Or, we can learn from our mistakes and vow to never overlook what we have learned, again. We can come out of this a little smarter, a little wiser, and much more vigilant.
We can never forget, but we can heal. And if we heal, we will be stronger. That which does not destroy us, can make us that much stronger if we let it. But we have to let it.