My Word for June 11, 2001

One aspect of the Timothy McVeigh execution got me thinking — what he did to his own family.

I have a son who is more or less McVeigh's age.

I'm very proud of him. He's a smart guy. He's doing well in life, and even in his adult years  he makes a father very happy.

Bill McVeigh deserved the same as me. He deserved having his smart, accomplished son doing something to be proud of ... even something that really wasn't much of anything, but was enough to keep him alive.

It's a simple favor to ask of your kids. Look ... your job is to keep breathing ... just hang in there ... and don't get yourself killed. The purpose of that request is so that a father can enjoy watching his son grow older, maybe have kids, maybe not ... but at the bare minimum, stay alive.

I've seen nothing in Bill McVeigh's life that indicates he didn't deserve that simple pleasure —  something that millions of fathers and mothers get to experience. His own son cheated him.

Bill McVeigh has to live with the reality of what his son did for the rest of his life, having people ask him about it all the time, making him wonder where he went wrong.

I'm not saying that Timothy McVeigh owed his life to his father, or that the crime against his father is worse than the crime against the families of 168 others. I'm saying that he's just another person to add to the long list of victims of the Oklahoma City bombing.

I feel very sorry for Bill McVeigh. He deserved better.

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