WASHINGTON – President Bush made the following statement Monday morning in the White House following the federal execution of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.
"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. At every point from the morning of April 19th, 1995, to this hour, we have seen the good that overcomes evil. We saw it in the rescuers who saved and suffered with the victims. We have seen it in a community that has grieved and held close the memory of the lost. We have seen it in the work of detectives, marshal[s], and police. And we've seen it in the court.
"Due process ruled. The case was proved. The verdict was calmly reached. And the rights of the accused were protected and observed to the full and to the end. Under the laws of our country, the matter is concluded.
"Life and history bring tragedies, and often they cannot be explained. But they can be redeemed. They are redeemed by dispensing justice — though eternal justice is not ours to deliver. By remembering those who grieve — including Timothy McVeigh's mother, father and sisters — and by trusting in purposes greater than our own, may God in his mercy grant peace to all, to the lives that were taken six years ago, to the lives that go on, and to the life that ended today."