Survivors

Photo of the Day

The blast killed 168 people, including 19 children, injured hundreds more and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to structures and vehicles in the downtown area. Photo AP.

The bomb killed 168 people, including 19 children, injured hundreds more and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to structures and vehicles in the downtown area. Photo AP.

The Oklahoma City Bombing

On April 19, 1995, around 9:03 a.m., just after parents dropped their children off at day care at the Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City, the unthinkable happened.

A massive bomb inside a rental truck exploded, blowing half of the nine-story building into oblivion. A stunned nation watched as the bodies of men, women, and children were pulled from the rubble for nearly two weeks.

When the smoke cleared and the exhausted rescue workers packed up and left, 168 people were dead.

Prosecutor Joseph Hartzler began his opening statement in the Timothy McVeigh trial by reminding the jury of the terror and the heartbreak:? “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, April 19th, 1995, was a beautiful day in Oklahoma City — at least it started out as a beautiful day. The sun was shining. Flowers were blooming. It was springtime in Oklahoma City.

Sometime after six o’clock that morning, Tevin Garrett’s mother woke him up to get him ready for the day. He was only 16 months old. He was a toddler; and as some of you know that have experience with toddlers, he had a keen eye for mischief. He would often pull on the cord of her curling iron in the morning, pull it off the counter top until it fell down, often till it fell down on him. That morning, she picked him up and wrestled with him on her bed before she got him dressed. She remembers this morning because that was the last morning of his life….”

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Photo Of The Day

Neerja Bhano, Neerja Bhanot was a hero after she bravely gave up her life in order to help save the lives of 360 passengers aboard Pan Am Flight 73 in September 1986. Terrorists had boarded the plane, and wanted to use American passengers as leverage. Through Bhanot?s quick action the majority of the passengers were able to escape unharmed.

Neerja Bhanot was a hero after she bravely gave up her life in order to help save the lives of 360 passengers aboard Pan Am Flight 73 in September 1986. Terrorists had boarded the plane, and wanted to use American passengers as leverage. Through Bhanot?s quick action the majority of the passengers were able to escape unharmed.

Not all Superheroes Wear Capes?

The hijacking of Pan Am flight 73 is considered one of the most brutal international terrorist attacks in the 1980s. Four heavily armed terrorists carrying assault rifles, grenades, plastic explosives and pistols passed Karachi airport security, and stormed Pan American Flight 73 from Bombay (now Mumbai) that had landed at Karachi early morning on Sept. 5, 1986.

Firing their weapons and manhandling a flight attendant, the hijackers took control of the Boeing 747-121 Jumbo Jet minutes before it was to fly off to Frankfurt, en route to New York.

Senior flight attendant Neerja Bhanot, was among the 380 passengers aboard. 360 of them lived to tell the world of her?calm courage and supreme sacrifice. The terrorists could have done anything to her, but Neerja, daughter of a Mumbai journalist Harish Bhanot, showed no fear.

Mere?hours before her 23rd birthday, Neerja Bhanot?turned to see the 4 heavily-armed terrorists boarding Pan Am flight 73. She?dashed to the cockpit to warn the pilots, but was caught by one of the hijackers, who?d grabbed her ponytail. Nevertheless, she managed to shout a secret ?hijack code? to the cockpit crew ? who, according to regulations, quickly evacuated, leaving the hundreds of?passengers and 19 flight?crew at the mercy of the 4 enraged?terrorists.

With the cockpit crew gone, and Neerja now the most senior?crew member?on the plane, took charge.?At the orders of the terrorists ? who were part of the Libya-backed Abu Nidal Organization ? she collected the passports of all the passengers, taking care to hide some under seats and throwing others down a rubbish chute, she destroyed the American ones, so the?terrorists could not target those passengers. That?s because minutes after they stormed the plane, they had shot an American citizen and threw his body onto the tarmac and then asked for more Americans.

After 17 hours on board, the terrorists opened fire, at which point Neerja threw open the emergency exit. Instead of saving herself by sliding down the emergency chute, she used her body to shield three escaping children, and died in the process.

One of the survivors from that attack Dr Kishore Murthy,?has told what happened in that horrifying moment when the terrorists shot Neerja in the head:

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Photo Of The Day

Survivors gaze at photographer Margaret Bourke-White and rescuers from the United States Third Army during the liberation of Buchenwald, April 1945.

Survivors gaze at photographer Margaret Bourke-White and rescuers from the United States Third Army during the liberation of Buchenwald, April 1945.

Behind the Picture: The Liberation of Buchenwald, April 1945

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