OKC series by pengxuebo


									Arches and aesthetics                                                                                                                                                 A NEW WORLD
Blair Kamin                                                                                                                                                                                                     Columnist
on the new                                                                                                                                                                                                 Phil Rosenthal
McDonald’s                                                                                                                                                                                                  examines the
                                                                                            BEARS DRAFT                                                                                                   media landscape

                                                                                                                                                                                                                         SECTION 5

                                                                                                        SPORTS      SECTION 3


$1.79 City & Suburbs; $2 Elsewhere                                                             S U N D AY , A P R I L 1 7 , 2 0 0 5                         ~                                              CHICAGOLAND

Oil analysts: Get used to it
Besides gas pump, other goods, services feel pinch from record prices                                                                                       IN BUSINESS
By Robert Manor                          gone forever.                         economy will be a lot more com-      year, although its price has fall-      ETHANOL PRICES DOWN: Analysts sa
Tribune staff reporter                     “I think it is more likely to       fortable.”                           en back into the low $50s recent-       it’s a simple matter of too much supply
                                         stay in the $50 range than in the       Unevenly, sometimes imper-         ly. Two years ago it was at $28.        meeting too little demand.
  If you’re waiting for gasoline         $40 range,” said Mark Baxter, di-     ceptibly, higher petroleum pric-        The world is in no danger of         DOMINO EFFECT: Food costs more,
prices to fall below $2 a gallon,        rector of the Maguire Energy In-      es are filtering through the na-     running out of oil anytime soon.        vacation budgets are squeezed.
forget it.                               stitute at Southern Methodist         tion’s economy, affecting every-     Many billions of barrels await
                                                                                                                                                            MANUFACTURING: Some produc-
  No one can say for sure what           University.                           thing from the cost of plastic car   extraction.                             ers can adapt. Others are hurt when
the price of petroleum will be in          “If people can depend on it sta-    parts to the suffering of bank-         But industry analysts say            consumer demand drops due to highe
the future, but some industry            bilizing at this price, they can      rupt airlines.                       world petroleum output barely           gas prices.
observers are warning that the           conduct their business and plan         A spectrum of factors drove
cheap crude oil of the past is           their future,” he said. “If so, the   crude oil above $58 a barrel this    PLEASE SEE OIL, PAGE 22                 SPECIAL REPORT, SECTION 5

                                                   O K L A H O M A C I T Y 1 0 Y E A R S L AT E R                                                                                               Medicaid
                                                                                                                                                                                                for middle
                                                                                                                                                                                                class at risk
                                                                                                                                                                                                Move afoot to block
                                                                                                                                                                                                seniors’ asset shifting
                                                                                                                                                                                                By Judith Graham
                                                                                                                                                                                                Tribune staff reporter

                                                                                                                                                                                                  For years, middle-class se-
                                                                                                                                                                                                niors have been emptying their
                                                                                                                                                                                                bank accounts and signing
                                                                                                                                                                                                away their homes so they can
                                                                                                                                                                                                qualify for nursing home care
                                                                                                                                                                                                under Medicaid—the govern-
                                                                                                                                                                                                ment’s health program for the
                                                                                                                                                                                                poor—when they become frail
                                                                                                                                                                                                and ill.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  It’s a perfectly legal practice.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  But with Medicaid budgets
                                                                                                                                                                                                soaring nationwide, state and
                                                                                                                                                                                                federal officials are floating pro-
                                                                                                                                                                                                posals to crack down on these fi-
                                                                                                                                                                                                nancial arrangements and
                                                                                                                                                                                                make seniors pay more for long-
                                                                                                                                                                                                term care. Unless changes are
                                                                                                                                                                                                made, experts warn, Medicaid
                                                                                                                                                                                                will be burdened with huge bills
                                                                                                                                                                                                as Baby Boomers age, threaten-
                                                                                                                                                                                                ing the program’s ability to
                                                                                                                                                         Tribune photo by Pete Souza            serve poor Americans.
          P.J. Allen, now 11, suffered severe burns in his lungs in the Oklahoma City explosion. He has endured years of therapies and surgeries.                                                 “Medicaid must not become
                                                                                                                                                                                                an     inheritance      protection
                                                                                                                                                                                                plan,” Health and Human Ser-

                         A bomb’s bitter echoes       First of two parts by Howard Witt Tribune senior correspondent
                                                                                                                                                                                                PLEASE SEE MEDICAID, PAGE 19

                                                                                                                                                                                                Iraq tunes in
            OKLAHOMA CITY—To many Americans, the ter-                                                                 Although the attacks against America on Sept. 11,                         to see rebels
          rorist attack on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Build-
          ing on April 19, 1995, is ancient history. Tuesday will
                                                                                                                    2001, came to overshadow Oklahoma City, the 1995 trage-
                                                                                                                    dy carries important lessons for a nation in the throes                     get grilled
          mark the 10th anniversary of the sunny morning                                                            of a war on terror. The country treats casualties of ter-
          when two homegrown anti-government zealots ig-                                                            rorism unequally. The heroes of a disaster often go on to                   For insurgents, rough
          nited a 4,800-pound fertilizer truck bomb that killed                                                     become its victims. And the wounds do not ever fully                        justice on reality TV
         168 people and injured 842 others in what was, at the                                                      heal.
                                                                                                                                                                                                By Colin McMahon
          time, the worst terror attack in American history.                                                          The Chicago Tribune has spent the past year exam-                         Tribune foreign correspondent
            But the Oklahoma City bombing by Timothy                                                                ining the long-term aftermath of the Oklahoma City
                                                                                                                                                                                                   BAGHDAD—The imam deliv-
          McVeigh and Terry Nichols is not a dusty memory                                                           bombing. After more than 100 interviews with bombing                        ered the kind of plug that even
          for P.J. Allen, the 6th grader who still struggles to                                                     survivors, relatives of victims, rescue workers, psychi-                    network television money can’t
                                                                                                                                                                                                buy: Go home, the cleric in-
          breathe because his lungs melted when he inhaled the intense heat un-                 atrists, disaster experts, charity officials and political leaders, and a re-                   structed worshipers at the end
          leashed by the blast; or for Jim Ramsey, a police officer who rescued two             view of thousands of pages of court papers and other documents, it is pos-                      of evening prayers, and watch
                                                                                                                                                                                                “Terror in the Grip of Justice.”
          women only to become so haunted by the experience that he eventually                  sible to sketch a portrait of hidden suffering and unfinished business left                        Not that the flock at Al-Zuwi-
          collapsed into a life of gambling, alcohol and crime.                                 in the wake of a bombing. The report begins on Page 20.                                         ya mosque in Baghdad needed
                                                                                                                                                                                                to be reminded. “Terror in the
                                                                                                                                                                                                Grip of Justice” is a cultural
                                                                                                                                                                                                phenomenon in Iraq.
                                                                                                                                                                                                   The setup of the reality TV
                                                                                                                                                                                                program is as straightforward
                                                                                                                                                                                                as its name. Iraqi police and mil-
                                         To skateboarders, Chicago plaza would be sweet                                                                                                         itary interrogators badger, bul-
                                                                                                                                                                                                ly, coax, cajole and question sus-
                                                                                                                                                                                                pected insurgents. They tape
                                         By Hal Dardick                        larly in downtown Chicago.           al skateboarder who makes a          city. It would be featured in vid-     the sessions and then air them
          Crises mode                    Tribune staff reporter                   That preference forces them       living designing skate parks         eo magazines on DVDs sold              nightly on state-owned Al-Iraqi-
      Familiar theme hints                                                     to play cat-and-mouse with po-       and, at 42, is something of a fa-    across the globe, they say.            ya TV  .
                                           Once viewed warily by adults        lice enforcing a ban on skate-       ther figure in Chicago’s skate-        They have found a friend in             The confessions often are
     long legislative session.           and recreation officials, skate-      boarding downtown. So they are       board community.                     Bob O’Neill, president of the
             SECTION 4                   board parks with their bowls,         asking Chicago Park District of-        Snyder and his fellow skate-      Grant Park Advisory Council.           PLEASE SEE CONFESS, PAGE 10
                                         half-pipes and ramps are now          ficials to build a skate plaza—      boarders envision Chicago as a         “I want Chicago to be the first
Weather: Light winds; high 73, low 55.   staples of park districts across      distinctly different from a skate    Mecca for street skaters across      big city to have a downtown
    COMPLETE INDEX, PAGE 2               the Chicago region.                   park—in Grant Park.                  the nation. Tourists hooked on       skate plaza,” he said.
                                           But a growing number of skat-          “You would have an interna-       the skateboard lifestyle, with its     O’Neill first backed a skate-
        24 hours a day go to             ers prefer to slide and grind on      tional phenomenon,” said Ste-        unique lingo, clothing and
        chicagotribune.com               city streets and plazas, particu-     ven Snyder, a former profession-     media, would descend on the          PLEASE SEE SKATERS, PAGE 19

                                                                                                                       1    2    3    4       5   6
20            CHICAGO TRIBUNE          SECTION 1                                                                                                                                     ~   S U N D AY   A P R I L 17 , 2 0 0 5

                                                                     O K L A H O M A C I T Y 1 0 Y E A R S L AT E R

Torment lingers in OK City
                                                                                                                                                      Congress left us                       whose life was upended by the
                                                                                                                                                                                             death of his mother, Castine De-
                                                                                                                                                                                             veroux, 49, an employee of the
                                                                                                                                                      high and dry,                          Department of Housing and Ur-
                                                                                                                                                                                             ban Development.
                                                                                                                                                                                                “I think the reason why we
                                                                                                                                                      families say                           went through the situation is to
                                                                                                                                                                                             get close to God,” he said. “We
                                                                                                                                                                                             had a lot of evil in our life. The
                                                                                                                                                      By Howard Witt                         devil was in this house a lot of
                                                                                                                                                      Tribune senior correspondent           times. But we always found
                                                                                                                                                                                             something positive out of every-
                                                                                                                                                         OKLAHOMA CITY—What is               thing.”
                                                                                                                                                      the value of an American life             Concerned about what would
                                                                                                                                                      claimed by terrorists? The an-         happen to his siblings, Hearn
                                                                                                                                                      swer, it turns out, depends on         gave up his basketball scholar-
                                                                                                                                                      where and when you die.                ship at the University of New
                                                                                                                                                         Congress gave the families of       Mexico to move back home to
                                                                                                                                                      victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, at-     raise them.
                                                                                                                                                      tacks generous federal compen-            Through the years, the family
                                                                                                                                                      sation payments. Most ended up         weathered the deterioration of
                                                                                                                                                      millionaires.                          their inner-city neighborhood
                                                                                                                                                         Congress gave the families of       and the struggle to hold on to
                                                                                                                                                      victims of the April 19, 1995, Ok-     their modest house on the small
                                                                                                                                                      lahoma City bombing a two-             income Hearn managed to earn
                                                                                                                                                      year reprieve on their federal         selling custom-made hats.
                                                                                                                                                      income taxes. Some ended up               When the bills became over-
                                                                                                                                                      losing their homes.                    whelming, Hearn sought help
                                                                                                                                                         The families of victims of fu-      from one of the principal char-
                                                                                                                                                      ture terrorist attacks may get         ities designated to help bomb-
                                                                                                                                                      nothing at all.                        ing victims, the Oklahoma City
                                                                                                                                                         For all the nation’s focus on       chapter of the American Red
                                                                                                                                                      homeland security and the              Cross, which assisted with
                                                                                                                                                      probability that the United            some mortgage payments.
                                                                                                                                                      States could someday be struck            Hearn has accomplished his
                                                                                                                                                      again by terrorists, the vexing        main goal—keeping his family
                                                                                                                                                      question of what would happen          together. But he’s not sure how
Joann Thompson (right, with grandson Joey) lost her husband, Michael, in the bombing. The family has struggled ever since.                            afterward—whom the govern-             much longer he can provide for
                                                                                                                                                      ment should try to make                everyone. He believes, like

One family’s disintegration
                                                                                                                                                      whole—remains unasked.                 many here, that Congress
                                                                                                                                                         And the lesson of Oklahoma          should compensate the Oklaho-
                                                                                                                                                      City remains unlearned.                ma City families just as it did
                                                                                                                                                         “Everybody thought that all         the Sept. 11 families.
                                                                                                                                                      the people from the bombing               “I felt like my mom worked for
                                                                                                                                                      were taken care of,” said Tim          the government and she died for
   Michael Thompson, a claims representative for the Social Se-          Thompson is educating him.          who was 12 when his father               Hearn, who quit a promising            the government and they should
curity Administration, was the center of his family’s universe.             “People say it’s my fault,”      was killed, says his arrests and         college basketball career to re-       have stepped in and helped her
                                                                         said Thompson, 54. “But when        his aimlessness stem directly            turn home and care for his four        kids,” he said.
When he perished in the Oklahoma City bombing, his family                something like that happens,        from his unresolved anger                younger siblings after his moth-          It is a faint hope.
imploded into the vacuum left behind.                                    you’re not prepared. … Every-       over the loss. And he’s matter-          er was killed in the bombing.
   It wasn’t merely the loss of his $50,000 annual salary, although      body says [my sons] are old         of-fact in explaining why he             “That’s how the media made it Sept. 11 compensation
                                                                         enough to take care of them-        doesn’t expect to make some-             look. But it wasn’t nothing like     In the weeks after the Sept. 11
that was a crippling blow. What made the family even more vul-
                                                                         selves. Yes, but mentally, may-     thing of his life.                       that. We’re living day by day.”    attacks, Congress swiftly ap-
nerable was its classic suburban ordinariness: a husband who             be they’re not. … There’s no           “At this point, I’ve fallen in-          The site where the Alfred P. proved a $7 billion compensa-
was the breadwinner and disciplinarian, a wife who stayed                man in the household for them       to this pattern where it’s hard          Murrah Federal Building once tion package for the victims,
home to care for the children, two sons accustomed to the daily          to look up to.”                     to escape. It’s like trying to get       stood was long ago covered over whose families received an av-
                                                                            With no other relatives          into orbit, but you don’t have           by a striking memorial. A mod- erage of $2.1 million each. But
routine of private school.                                               available to help, the Thomp-       enough thrust,” he said. “I              ernistic—and blast-resistant— every time the issue of compen-
   After Michael Thompson             Eventually Joann Thomp-            sons are completely on their        know what I don’t want to do.            new federal building stands de- sation for other terrorism vic-
was killed, his wife, Joann, un- son lost that home, and two             own. Despite charitable funds       … If it’s going to cause me              fiantly across the way. The tims has been raised since then,
accustomed to managing the others, and had to sell off most              set up to assist the families of    physical turmoil or mental               scarred downtown has been lawmakers have ducked.
family finances and overcome of the family’s possessions.                bombing victims, Thompson           turmoil, I’d rather avoid it.”           sleekly remade.                      In 2002 and 2003, Congress de-
with grief, ended up destroy-         Today the Thompsons rent a         said she was refused each time         He’s certain, however, that if           But 10 years after the Oklaho- clined to reopen the question of
ing her credit. The sons drop- run-down house barren of all              she sought help from the Red        his family had received mil-             ma City bombing, which killed compensating victims of past
ped out of school before finish- but a few pieces of old furni-          Cross and the Oklahoma City         lions in federal compensation            168 people and injured 842 oth- terrorist attacks such as the 1995
ing 9th grade.                      ture, living on $1,600 a month       Community Foundation.               similar to what the Sept. 11             ers, the shock waves are still ra- Oklahoma City bombing, the
   The eldest, Brett, racked up in worker’s compensation.                   “They wanted me to say that      families received, he would              diating outward.                   1998 bombings of two U.S. Em-
multiple juvenile arrests for Listlessness and desperation               I need psychological help,” she     have ended up very differently.                                             bassies in Africa and the 2000 at-
stealing cars and using drugs, seem to permeate the walls.               said. “They wanted me to go to         His mother “would have                Families in poverty                tack on the USS Cole.
Joann Thompson said; the pro-         The sons, now 22 and 18, sit       counseling, which I have noth-      been able to afford to control              Despite more than $40 million     Lawmakers have refused to
ceeds of Michael’s life insur- at home, refusing to work or              ing to go to counseling about.      us, pacify us,” Brett said. “In-         in donations that streamed into provide any budget funding for
ance policy went to pay for de- return to school, and Thomp-             They wouldn’t help me unless        stead, we kind of went out and           Oklahoma City in the days after a terror victims compensation
fense lawyers. An additional son says she’s powerless to                 I signed a paper.”                  found our own entertainment,             the bombing to help the victims, fund that Congress itself voted
$70,000 in savings was used up force them. A daughter, 32, left             Officials of the charities de-   which was criminal activity. If          more than 60 families of modest to establish.
to repair damage to the fam- home years before the bomb-                 clined to comment on Thomp-         we hadn’t been worrying                  means were thrown into such          The Senate Foreign Relations
ily’s    four-bedroom      home ing; Thompson is raising her             son’s case, citing confidential-    about money every five min-              poverty as a result of deaths or Committee conducted one hear-
caused when Brett set it ablaze 12-year-old son, Joey. Over-             ity rules. But even she con-        utes, it would have been a lot           injuries that they must still rely ing to examine a Bush adminis-
while shooting off fireworks in whelmed by public school,                cedes that she long ago lost        different. I wouldn’t have been          on charities to meet their basic tration proposal to set a stan-
his bedroom.                        Joey stays home as well, where       control over her sons. Brett,       so bitter.”                              needs. Another 70 victims are dard compensation award for
                                                                                                                                                      still receiving psychiatric care. future victims of terrorism.
                                                                                                                                                         Theirs are not the stories Then it promptly dropped the
                                                                                                                                                      most likely to be heard this matter.
                                                                                                                                                      week as the nation momentarily       Nor did Congress examine the
S U S A N WA LTO N                                                                                                                                    returns its attention to this critical conclusions of the man
                                                                                                                                                      heartland city in solemn com- who oversaw the Sept. 11 Victim

Getting                                                                                                                                               memoration of the bombing. In- Compensation Fund.
                                                                                                                                                      stead, the ceremonies at the Ok-     Kenneth Feinberg, the Wash-
                                                                                                                                                      lahoma City National Memo- ington, D.C., attorney who was
                                                                                                                                                      rial, titled a National Week of the fund’s special master and

well and                                                                                                                                              Hope, will focus on “stories of decided the amount of each mul-
                                                                                                                                                      life moving forward.”              timillion-dollar award, ques-
                                                                                                                                                         It turns out, though, that tioned the fairness of Congress’
                                                                                                                                                      while the Sept. 11 attacks were instruction to replicate the tort

moving on                                                                                                                                             vastly more devastating in both system and base compensation
                                                                                                                                                      human and economic terms, the on the lifetime earning poten-
                                                                                                                                                      Oklahoma City bombing was a tial of each victim. That deci-
                                                                                                                                                      more intimate crime. Officials sion ensured that the richest
   Susan Walton started plan-                                                                                                                         here estimate that more than survivors received the most.
ning her charity, Suited for                                                                                                                          one-third of the 1 million people    “The system … fuels divisive-
Success, in the early 1990s,                                                                                                                          in the Oklahoma City metropol- ness among the very people
                                                                                                                                                      itan area knew someone who you’re trying to help,” Feinberg
sketching out an idea to collect                                                                                                                      was killed or injured in the said. “The fireman’s widow
used suits and blouses from                                                                                                                           bombing.                           comes to me and says, ‘My hus-
working women and then dis-                                                                                                                              The Oklahoma City attack al- band died a hero, why am I get-
tribute them to needy recip-                                                                                                                          so struck a more vulnerable ting a million dollars less than
                                                                                                                                                      population. While the World the banker who shoveled pen-
ients who can’t afford profes-
                                                                                                                                                      Trade Center towers in New cils for Enron on the 103rd
sional outfits for job inter-                                                                                                                         York were gleaming icons of floor?’
                                    Two years after the bombing, Susan Walton opened a charity clothing business.
                                                                                                                                                      American prosperity occupied         “I think that if you do it
   It took until 1997, however,     rules of triage to do anything       that was given to me. There         opinion about the way things             largely by office workers, exec- again,” Feinberg added, “I
for Walton to gather her first      to me. That’s how far gone I         was no room for anger.”             were going in the country.”              utives and stockbrokers, the would urge a flat payment.”
                                    was.”                                  Walton has no idea how              Walton’s determination to              Murrah Federal Building was a        Congress’ decision to com-
donations and finally open for
                                       Five weeks of hospitaliza-        much that help cost. At the         open her clothing charity was            dowdier destination, a place pensate the Sept. 11 families “set
business.                                                                                                                                             where workaday government an incredible precedent that
                                    tion and 15 surgeries ensued,        time of the bombing, she was        born of her experience as a
   In between, she was busy                                                                                                                           employees served working- will be very powerful if a large
                                    followed by five years of phys-      back in school, working on a        single mother working in en-
fighting for her life.              ical     therapy.   For three        degree she had long put on          try-level positions in several           class constituents.                event like this happens in the fu-
   Walton     was     grievously    months, Walton had to wear           hold to raise her family, and       banks and having to choose                  Yet in a state buffeted ture,” said Lloyd Dixon, an ana-
wounded in the Oklahoma             special metal braces pinned          had no health insurance. But        between shoes for her chil-              throughout its history by oil lyst at the RAND Institute for
City bombing, a victim caught,      through her flesh into the           thanks to the Red Cross, the        dren or work attire for herself.         booms and economic busts and Civil Justice in Santa Monica,
like so many others, in the         bones of her legs in 66 places.      Oklahoma City Community               “Usually, the kids won,” she           Dust Bowl droughts and killer Calif., who conducted a study of
wrong place at the wrong time.      Every six hours, a doctor came       Foundation and, later Medi-         said.                                    tornadoes, deep religious faith Sept. 11 compensation issues.
She happened to be visiting         in with a wrench to expand the       care, Walton said she never           She began collecting cloth-            and unblushing middle Ameri- “But the bottom line is: There
the federal employees’ credit       braces and stretch her bones         had to pay a medical bill. The      ing and cash donations, and              can values seem to have guided really isn’t any ongoing strate-
union, on the third floor of the    in an excruciating procedure.        Lions Club bought her a hand-       officials of Catholic Charities          many Oklahoma City bombing gy at this point of how we’re go-
Murrah Federal Building, to            Today, Walton, 54, must           icapped-equipped van.               donated some space in their              victims to a quiet acceptance of ing to deal with compensation if
make a deposit into her ac-         walk with either a cane or             She finally finished the de-      Oklahoma City office. Last               their fates.                       this happens again.”
count at the moment when the        crutches. Her left ankle is          gree, in administrative lead-       year, Walton suited her 2,000th             How else to explain the equa-     The lingering equity ques-
bomb went off.                      fused solid. If she falls, she is    ership, in 2003.                    client, and the charity will             nimity of a man like Hearn, 37, tions have embittered many Ok-
   Walton has no memory of          in trouble: Her knees no long-         Because her wounds and            soon move to larger quarters
that April day in 1995, and she     er bend enough to allow her to       her leg braces were so visual-      so it can expand.
thinks that is for the best con-    get up.                              ly disturbing, federal prosecu-       Donors tell Walton she is an
sidering how close she came to         Yet she evinces no anger          tors asked Walton to testify at     inspiration, but she says she                            About the writer
dying. She suffered a basal         about what happened to her.          the murder trials of Timothy        doesn’t understand why.
skull fracture, nerve damage           “It’s kind of hard to be angry    McVeigh and Terry Nichols,            “I’m not sure what other                              A decade ago, Howard Witt, now the Tribune’s Southwest
behind both eyes, multiple jaw      about something you don’t re-        the two perpetrators of the         people are seeing,” she said. “I                        bureau chief, covered the Oklahoma City bombing. Over
fractures, a broken nose, a         member,”         Walton      said.   bombing.                            just get up and put one foot in                         the past year, he has returned to the city repeatedly to ex-
ruptured spleen, two crushed        “That’s just not normally              Yet sitting in a witness box      front of the other every day                            amine the long-term fallout from the tragedy. Previously,
legs and severe damage to her       something I tried to deal with.      just a few feet from her assai-     just like everyone else. I think                        Witt was the Tribune’s chief diplomatic correspondent
left ankle.                         I tried to focus on getting well     lants provoked not rage in          that the good Lord gave us a                            based in Washington. He has also been stationed in Toron-
   A doctor at the scene who        and moving on with my life           Walton but “heartbreak that         spirit to survive and keep go-           to, Johannesburg and Moscow as a Tribune foreign correspondent and in
first treated her, Walton said,     and helping others and paying        this young man [McVeigh]            ing. Most of us choose that op-          Los Angeles as bureau chief. He joined the Tribune as an intern in 1982. He
later told her that “he broke all   back the society for the help        chose that way to express his       tion.”                                   can be contacted at hwitt@tribune.com.

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          A P R I L 17 , 2 0 0 5   S U N D AY       ~                                                                                                                                         SECTION 1           CHICAGO TRIBUNE                  21

                                                                        O K L A H O M A C I T Y 1 0 Y E A R S L AT E R

                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Tribune photos by Pete Souza
Using a surgical scope, doctors in Cincinnati check P.J. Allen’s air passage. Ten years after the bombing that devastated his lungs, P.J. still gasps for every breath.

                                                                               P. J . A L L E N

                                                                               Fighting for every breath
                                                                                 Deloris Watson will forever be grateful for the medical care given                     pense of having it taken out.”          plunging her into dependence
                                                                               to her grandson P.J. Allen, one of the children inside the day-care                        Community Foundation offi-            on the Red Cross to pay for many
                                                                                                                                                                        cials, who at the end of 2004 still     of her basic living expenses. Her
                                                                               center when the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was bombed.                            had more than $14 million in un-        relationship with her husband
                                                                                 She wonders, though, why she sometimes had to battle so hard to                        spent donations in their Okla-          broke down and ended in di-
                                                                                                                                                                        homa City Disaster Relief Fund,         vorce. She had to learn a whole
                                                                               get that care.
                                                                                                                                                                        dispute that assertion.                 new way of looking at the world:
                                                                                 One-year-old P.J. suffered severe burns on the insides of his lungs                      “From the onset, the Survi-           as a source of potential danger
                                                                               in the explosion. He inhaled so much heat and smoke and gas that                         vors’ Fund has fulfilled every          to her child.
                                                                                                                                                                        need recommended by the med-               “We could walk past some-
                                                                               the interior sacs of his lungs literally melted.                                         ical staff that has treated P.J.,”      body who has perfume on that’s
                                                                                 Years of therapies, surgeries                  fund, administered by the Com-          Nancy Anthony, executive di-            too strong,” Watson said. “Any-
                                                                               and several tracheotomies en-                    munity Foundation.                      rector of the Community Foun-           thing can trigger this child’s
                                                                               sued, all covered by either the                    But Watson said foundation            dation, said in a statement.            asthma.”
                                                                               Red Cross, the Oklahoma City                     officials told her she would need         Today, P.J. is an unfailingly            Now, though, after 10 years of
                                                                               Community Foundation or                          to allow Oklahoma surgeons to           polite and soft-spoken 11-year-         revolving her world around
                                                                               Medicaid. But when P.J. was fi-                  try the operation five times be-        old, excelling in his studies in        P.J.—she must still give him
                                                                               nally well enough in early 2004                  fore they would consider paying         6th grade and enthusiastic              breathing treatments nearly ev-
                                                                               to have the last tracheotomy                     for the procedure in Cincinnati.        about sports, even though he            ery night—Watson is hoping to
                                                                               tube removed from his throat—                    Watson refused to put P.J.              gasps for every breath and the          return to work, although she
                                                                               in his case a particularly deli-                 through such an ordeal.                 diminished capacity of his              worries that she lacks sufficient
                                                                               cate procedure requiring the                       Finally, after months of argu-        lungs won’t allow him to partici-       job skills. The Red Cross is
                                                                               skills of a specialized surgeon—                 ment, Watson said she persuad-          pate in many activities.                pressing the matter: Officials
                                                                               Watson says the agencies sud-                    ed Medicaid to cover the sur-             “I can’t play football because        recently informed Watson that
                                                                               denly balked.                                    gery, and the Red Cross to pay          of the injury, because if I get hit     her monthly benefits would be
                                                                                 Watson, who cares for P.J. and                 for the travel expenses.                in the chest that could cause           cut from $1,200 to $425 this sum-
                                                                               agreed with her daughter to                        “There is a fund out there that       damage and I could die,” he             mer.
                                                                               adopt him shortly after he was                   was set up from [donations              said. “And I can’t play soccer. …          “They’ve been wonderful—
                                                                               born, sought out an expert sur-                  from] people from the United            But I can swim.”                        they’ve supported us all that
                                                                               geon in Cincinnati, who con-                     States to assist us,” Watson said.        P.J.’s injuries, which included       time when nobody else was,”
                                                                               sented to do the operation. But                  “They didn’t give P.J. the help to      hearing damage, turned Wat-             Watson said. “But 10 years is a
                                                                               she said Medicaid initially re-                  get back on his feet. That trache       son’s life inside out. She had to       long time. Their hope is the
                                                                               fused to pay for it, insisting that              was a direct result of the bomb-        quit her job as a telephone tech-       same as mine: that I can quickly
After the bombing, Deloris Watson had to quit her job to pro-                  the surgery should be covered                    ing. And [the Community Foun-           nician at Southwestern Bell to          obtain some type of employ-
vide full-time care for P.J. Now she hopes to return to work.                  by the main bombing relief                       dation] would not pay for the ex-       provide full-time care for him,         ment and go back to work.”

lahoma City families, who won-                                                                                                                                                                                  children who lost one or both
der why Congress left them to             Oklahoma bombing vs. Sept. 11                                                                                                                                         parents in the bombing.
rely on charities or struggle             Although the Oklahoma City and Sept. 11 terrorist attacks both had devastating effects on their communities and the nation, victims’                                     Most of the rest was distrib-
with insurance claims. A few at-          compensation was handled very differently in each case.                                                                                                               uted directly to bombing vic-
tempts by Oklahoma City fam-                                                                                                                                                                                    tims like the Hearn family,
ilies to file liability lawsuits—                                     Number     Average federal compensation per family                                                                                        whose cases were assessed by a
against the government and the                                        killed     (Form of compensation)                                                                                                         committee of charities that
manufacturer of the fertilizer                                                                                                                                                                                  weighed each individual re-
used in the bomb—were dis-                Oklahoma City bombing 168               $10,000 (Income tax relief*)                                                                                                  quest for help.
missed before they ever got to                                                                                                                                                                                     Early on, local officials re-
trial.                                    Sept. 11                    2,973                                                                                                                   $2.1 million      sponsible for distributing the
   ‘‘ ‘You don’t count,’ ” is how                                                (Cash payment from $7 billion Victim Compensation Fund)                                                                        funds made a strategic—and
Randy Ledger, an Oklahoma                                                                                                                                                                                       controversial—decision not to
City survivor, says he and other          Source: Tribune reporting              *Families typically relied on insurance and charitable donations for assistance.                             Chicago Tribune   try to compensate every victim
victims of the attack interpreted         the description Feinberg used to     11 victims. “In that mix there                  York,” Feinberg said. “New               the outside terrorists?”                individually. Instead, the goal
the snub from Congress.                   describe the compensation            was also such an outpouring of                  Yorkers are in your face. We               But Treanor got nowhere. Her          was to provide temporary as-
“ ‘You’re just a bunch of redneck         package.                             sympathy for the victims that                   want compensation for some-              calls to the offices of Oklaho-         sistance to get those most se-
hicks down in Oklahoma.’ ”                   “I completely agree with the      we were able to tag sympathy                    thing that wasn’t our fault. But         ma’s senators and representa-           verely stricken back on their
   Ledger, 48, a custodian in the         victims in Oklahoma City, or the     onto the airline rescue.”                       Oklahomans thought, ‘Hey, we             tives were shunted off to junior        feet and hold the rest of the mon-
Murrah building, suffered mul-            USS Cole, or the Kenya bomb-           The Oklahoma City victims                     run risks for the last hundred           aides. The news media failed to         ey in trust for longer-term med-
tiple skull fractures, brain dam-         ing: ‘Why not us?’ ” Feinberg        also lost out in Congress for rea-              years out here. There’s always           notice.                                 ical and psychological needs.
age and hearing loss, and has             said. “If you’re looking at the      sons that had more to do with                   something. Life is filled with             And when she signed up with              But choosing that approach
two chunks of glass embedded              victims, I don’t know why not        their political naivete and lack                misfortune.’ ”                           a lawyer from St. Louis who             over lump-sum distributions
so near his spine that surgeons           you. If you’re looking at the im-    of clout than the merits of their                                                        came calling, promising to pull         meant that bombing victims
are reluctant to operate. Other           pact of the tragedy on the Amer-     claims.                                         Lobbying for equal treatment             strings in Washington in ex-            with some means had to rely on
shards periodically still work            ican psyche, I think 9/11 stands       Frank Keating, the former                       Kathleen Treanor was one               change for 25 percent of any            their own resources to get by, a
their way out through his skin.           in a very unique category with       governor of Oklahoma, said vic-                 victim who didn’t accept her             compensation Oklahoma City              decision that angered many.
   After 10 years, he is still bat-       Pearl Harbor, the American Civ-      tims of the Murrah building                     fate. Treanor lost her 4-year-old        families might receive, it was             “The perception of people un-
tling the federal Department of           il War and the assassination of      bombing did not think to seek                   daughter, Ashley, and both of            the coup de grace. Skirmishing          fortunately is that you need to
Labor over a worker’s compen-             President Kennedy.”                  federal compensation at the                     her in-laws, who had taken the           over the fees for the trial law-        give people money and that
sation claim.                                There was also an urgent eco-     time of their loss. “It just never              child with them on what was to           yers eventually scuttled Senate         money will make them feel bet-
   “There’s just a lot of plain an-       nomic imperative: The nation’s       was a subject of discussion in                  have been an ordinary visit to           discussions of compensation for         ter,” said Nancy Anthony, exec-
ger,” Ledger said, “because we            troubled airline industry faced      the immediate aftermath of the                  the Social Security office inside        Oklahoma City victims, and the          utive director of the Oklahoma
got shafted.”                             collapse under the potential         bombing to make victims rich,”                  the Murrah building.                     matter died.                            City Community Foundation,
                                          weight of thousands of Sept. 11      Keating said.                                     After the Sept. 11 Victim Com-           The St. Louis lawyer, Charles         the city’s umbrella charity.
Not the same                              lawsuits. Congress averted that        Feinberg believes Oklaho-                     pensation Fund was created,              Polk, was indicted last month on           “Well, it probably does make
  The Oklahoma City bombing               crisis by offering victims gener-    mans suffered because of their                  Treanor, 41, formed a group              23 federal counts of bank fraud,        them feel better. But heroin
was no Sept. 11, of course. The           ous compensation in exchange         essential prairie stoicism—the                  called Fairness for OKC to lobby         money laundering, tax evasion           makes them feel better for a
singular horror of the attacks            for their surrendering the right     same “Oklahoma spirit” for                      for equal treatment for Oklaho-          and theft from his legal clients.       short time too. … But it’s the ser-
on the World Trade Center and             to sue the airlines.                 which they were lauded in the                   ma City families.                        The charges include Polk’s Ok-          vices that really help them go
the Pentagon and a collective                “At the time, the entire econo-   aftermath of the bombing, when                    “Why did they single out one           lahoma City scheme.                     forward. That’s what we really
national desire to respond were           my of the United States was tee-     Oklahomans demonstrated ex-                     terrorism event and not take               Some $18 million of all the           focused on: What services do we
among the principal motives               tering on the brink,” said Larry     traordinary decency, humility                   care of all terrorism events?”           charitable funds donated to Ok-         need to put in place for people to
cited by lawmakers as they sped           Stewart, a compensation expert       and bootstrap resiliency.                       Treanor said. “Honestly, if you          lahoma City victims remain, in-         help them begin to turn their
the victim compensation pack-             and former president of Trial          “I really do think that the                   think about it, isn’t the United         cluding enough money to fulfill         lives around and go forward?”
age through Congress.                     Lawyers Care, a national pro bo-     character of Oklahoma is differ-                States more culpable for the             a promise to provide a college             Monday: Rescuers in need of
  “Vengeful philanthropy” is              no program set up to assist Sept.    ent than the character of New                   homegrown terrorists than for            education for each of the 219           rescue.

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50¢ City & Suburbs; 75¢ Elsewhere                                                                    M O N D AY , A P R I L 1 8 , 2 0 0 5                                ~                                           CHICAGOLAND

                                                     O K L A H O M A C I T Y 1 0 Y E A R S L AT E R

make the
firms grow
tougher                                                                                                                                                               embark on
More white-collar
companies are
adopting attendance
policies that might
                                                                                                                                                                      epic task
make you think twice                                                                                                                                                  Expectations high                    IN METRO
about taking a sick day                                                                                                                                               as conclave opens                    Immigrant dreams
By Barbara Rose
Tribune staff reporter                                                                                                                                                to choose pope                       Newcomers in Chicago hope
                                                                                                                                                                                                           for a historic choice for pope.
   Perfect attendance is such a                                                                                                                                       By Steve Kloehn
virtue at Lawson Products Inc.,                                                                                                                                       Tribune staff reporter
that employees who go a year                                                                                                                                                                               Prayers in Chicago
without missing work or arriv-                                                                                                                                           VATICAN CITY — History
ing late are rewarded with extra                                                                                                                                      towers over the 115 Roman Cath-      Cardinal
paid days off.                                                                                                                                                        olic cardinals who will gather       Francis George
   But for some, there’s a down-                                                                                                                                      Monday to begin selecting a new      asks for prayers
side. At the distributor’s ware-                                                                                                                                      pope, but some of the church’s
house and customer-service                                                                                                                                            ancient traditions are shifting      throughout the
center in Addison, there are no                                                                                                                                       beneath their feet.                  conclave.
excuses for missing work unless                                                                                                                                          The cardinals’ isolation from
time off is scheduled in ad-                                                                                                                                          the outside world, first codified
vance. Any unplanned absence,                                                                                                                                         in 1274, will be bolstered this        As they select the next pope,
whether for illness, a flat tire or                                                                                                                                   year by jamming devices report-      the cardinals face a more funda-
family emergency, is a black                                                                                                                                          edly hidden under a false floor      mental test about how to read
mark.                                                                                                                                                                 in the Sistine Chapel, there to      history and how that interpreta-
   Punching in one minute to                                                                                                                                          defeat any sophisticated micro-      tion should guide the church’s
one hour late earns half a point.                                                                                                                                     phones or eavesdropping satel-       future.
Missing one to two hours merits                                                                                                                                       lites.                                 “The pope started the last cen-
one point. A full day adds two                                                                                                                                           The cardinals will be con-        tury as a prisoner in the Vatican
points.                                                                                                                                                               fined beginning Monday after-        [when there was a dispute with
   Six points results in a repri-                                                                                                                                     noon, as those in such conclaves     Italy over sovereignty], and now
mand; 10 points, suspension                                                                                                                                           have been for more than 1,000        the pope is the most famous per-
without pay. Employees can be                                                                                                                                         years, but this time with com-       son in the world,” said Rev. John
fired if they exceed 12 points                                                                                                                                        forts previously unimagined,         Wauck, a professor at the Santa
within a year.                                                                                                                                                        including private bathrooms          Croce        Pontifical       Uni-
   Such “no-fault” attendance                                                                                                                                         and a chance to stroll in the Vat-
programs, which run counter to                                                                                                                                        ican gardens.                        PLEASE SEE POPE, BACK PAGE
the trend toward more family-
friendly workplaces, are mi-                                                                                                       Tribune photo by Pete Souza
grating from factories and                    Jim Ramsey (with son Trevor) was honored for bravery after the bombing. But then, as
warehouses to white-collar en-
vironments as companies try to
standardize discipline and
                                              a result of post-traumatic stress, his life fell apart. Now he’s putting it back together.
                                                                                                                                                                      Iraq bomb takes
                                              Tragedy haunts
wrest greater control over work-
ers’ schedules.
   In Chicago, J.P. Morgan Chase
& Co.’s Bank One tracks and dis-
ciplines unscheduled absences
at its operations centers. Peo-
ple’s Energy Corp. does the
                                                                                                                                                                      ‘angel’ of mercy                     the same. Along with an Iraqi
                                                                                                                                                                      Californian won aid,

                                                the heroes
same in its call centers.                                                                                                                                                                                  colleague,    the     28-year-old
   Such policies are gaining                                                                                                                                                                               Californian became the very fig-
sway in an unforgiving econo-                                                                                                                                         hearts with dedication               ure she had gone to Iraq to help:
my where staffing is lean and                                                                                                                                                                              a civilian casualty of war.
turnover and absenteeism are                                                                                                                                          By Colin McMahon                       “She went from being just an
chronic problems in some low-                                                                                                                                         Tribune foreign correspondent        anti-war activist to someone
er-paying clerical, technical                                                                                                                                                                              who realized that the war was a
and service jobs, experts said.

                                              1st responders’ suffering intense, delayed                                                                                BAGHDAD—Marla Ruzicka
                                                                                                                                                                      should have left Iraq last week.
                                                                                                                                                                      But there was too much work,
                                                                                                                                                                                                           reality and that people needed
                                                                                                                                                                                                           to be helped because of it,” said
                                                                                                                                                                                                           Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who
                                                        Second of two parts by Howard Witt Tribune senior correspondent                                               too little time and too many Ira-    credited Ruzicka with helping
                                                                                                                                                                      qis who had been maimed, wid-        secure U.S. government funds to
Excuses, excuses
Tough time off                                  OKLAHOMA CITY—Jim Ramsey stood before an Oklahoma City judge last December a                                          owed or orphaned by a conflict       compensate Iraqi and Afghan
                                                                                                                                                                      they did not invite but could not    civilians hurt by U.S. military
Some companies are beginning                  few days before Christmas, nervously awaiting his sentence on nine felony counts, yet
                                                                                                                                                                      avoid.                               operations.
to implement a “no fault” policy,             another face in an anonymous parade of drug defendants.                                                                   Vacation could wait, Ruzicka         “You hear of that occasional
whereby workers must schedule                                                                                                                                         said. The little Iraqi boy whose     thing where one person makes a
time off in advance, regardless                 The 35-year-old had been charged with drunk driving, possession of cocaine with intent
                                                                                                                                                                      leg was blown off could not.         real difference,” Leahy said.
of the reason, or face penalties.                                                                                   ,
                                              to distribute, breaking and entering, and escaping from police custody among other                                        So Ruzicka stayed. And on          “This is an example. She accom-
REASONS FOR ABSENCES                          counts stemming from a string of arrests in 2003 and 2004. Years in prison loomed if the                                Saturday, Ruzicka died, killed       plished what large organiza-
                                                                                                                                                                      by a car bomb that was not
              Entitlement                     judge decided to be harsh.
   9%                             10%                                                                                                                                 aimed at her but took her just       PLEASE SEE RUZICKA, PAGE 6
               mentality                        But Ramsey was no ordi-                                                     There’s a dark underside
                                  11%         nary drug criminal. He                                                     to the heroics performed
   13%           Stress                       was a former cop and the                                                   by rescue workers that is
                                  18%         recipient of the Oklahoma                                                  little noticed by the citi-
                Personal                      City Police Department’s                                                   zens they protect: Long af-
                 needs                        highest citation for brav-                                                 ter the smoke clears and
   27%                                        ery, awarded for his role in                                               the last bodies are re-
                                  23%         rescuing      two     women                                                trieved, massive disasters
                 issues                       trapped on a precarious                                                    and terrorist attacks rou-
                                              7th-floor ledge of the Alfred                                              tinely claim additional cas-
                                              P. Murrah Federal Build-                                                   ualties among the first re-
                                              ing after the bomb went off                                                sponders who rush in to
   45%                            38%         on April 19, 1995.                                                         help, only to succumb to al-
                                                For Ramsey, the road                                                     coholism, broken families
                illness                       from decorated police hero to convicted                     and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
                                              drug felon ran straight through the smok-                     No amount of experience, it turns out,
                                              ing ruins of the Murrah building, with                      was enough to armor firefighters against
   1995                          2004         stops along the way for gambling, drinking                  scenes of Murrah building office workers
Note: 2004 results from a CCH survey of       and divorce. Yet, spectacular as his descent                impaled on rods of steel rebar who bled to
randomly polled organizations with an         was, Ramsey’s case was far from unique:                     death before they could be reached. No
estimated total of more than 1 million
employees. Sampling error was estimated
                                              Scores of other Oklahoma City police offi-                  training could have prepared police evi-                                                          World Picture News photo by Scott Nelson
to be ±6 percentage points.                   cers, firefighters and emergency workers                                                                                Marla Ruzicka (right) poses for a photo with a family her organi-
Source: CCH                 Chicago Tribune   followed similar routes.                                    PLEASE SEE STRESS, PAGE 14                                  zation helped in Baghdad. She died the next day in a bombing.

                                                                                 Cement ponds are out. Today’s swimmer prefers a steep slide to a laid-back                                                          INSIDE
                                                                                 back float, and amusement parks and park districts are competing to please.                                                            METRO

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Da mayor named
                                                                                 Water parks aim to saturate market                                                                                            one of da best
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Time magazine ranks
                                                                                 By Trine Tsouderos                      cal park districts in their in-             water parks by installing sky-
                                                                                 Tribune staff reporter                  creasingly competitive bids to              high water slides, slow-moving                Mayor Daley
                                                                                                                         persuade children—and their                 rivers for inner tubing and gon-          among the top 5 big-city
                                                                                   Six Flags’ new 15-acre water          parents—to slip, slide and surf             zo playgrounds that shoot,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 mayors in the U.S.
                                                                                 park in Gurnee boasts 25 slides,        in the multimillion-dollar aq-              dump and spray cataracts of
                                                                                 a river churning with water-            uatic playgrounds.                          water. Chicago alone has more
                                                                                 falls, a 500,000-gallon wave pool,        Call it the water-park wars.              than 30 water parks, many built       Weather: Summer; high 80, low 57
                                                                                 a tiki bar and one thing sure to          Long gone are the days of the             by the Park District in the last               Index, Page 2
                                                                                 warm the oft-chilled hearts of          rectangular cement municipal                five years.                            Online at chicagotribune.com
                                                                                 Midwesterners in summer—                pool with its accompanying tot                 Unable to compete, many
                                                                                 heated water.                           pond. From Bloomingdale to                  communities with old-style
                                               Tribune photo by Michael Tercha     And that’s just one weapon            Gurnee to Elk Grove Village,                pools have suffered a drop-off in
Workers install sections of slides at Six Flags’ Hurricane Harbor                deployed by amusement parks,            communities and companies
in Gurnee, which is set to open Memorial Day weekend.                            commercial resorts and even lo-         are responding to the mania for             PLEASE SEE WATER, PAGE 12

                                                                                                                               1      2     3     4      5       6
14            CHICAGO TRIBUNE            SECTION 1                                                                                                                                                   M O N D AY   A P R I L 18 , 2 0 0 5

                                                                                 O K L A H O M A C I T Y 1 0 Y E A R S L AT E R

The fallout
from attack
was severe

dence technicians to have to slit
open the tiny fingertips of dead
children so they could press
their own fingers inside the
skin to obtain clear prints.
   The delayed suffering of
emergency first responders is a
phenomenon that researchers
and trauma experts are only be-
ginning to understand—and are
deeply divided over how to pre-
   But one thing the experts do
know is that some of the most se-
rious troubles tend to surface
three to five years after a trau-
matic event—which means that
the thousands of New York City
police and firefighters who re-
sponded to the Sept. 11, 2001, at-
tacks are only now heading into
their most dangerous and vul-
nerable post-disaster period.
   “Probably, yes, the worst is yet
to come,” said Dr. Frank Dow-
ling, medical adviser for the Po-
lice Organization Providing
Peer Assistance in New York
City, a mental health support
agency, who noted that two-
thirds of the city’s police offi-
cers are currently reporting
stress-related symptoms. “I
can’t tell you that all of a sudden
at year five, we’re going to have
a hundred suicides,” Dowling                                                                                                                                                                                         Tribune photos by Pete Souza
added, but officials are con-          Last summer, Jim Ramsey enrolled in an addiction rehab program in rural Oklahoma. When he got out, a sympathetic businessman gave him a job managing a
cerned.                                chicken restaurant in Oklahoma City. He knows he has been granted a precious second chance, and he thinks he can stay sober. “My life has changed,” he says.
   Despite the enormity of the
Oklahoma City attack—it was,                                                                                                   ex-wife was among more than
at the time, the worst act of ter-     Post-traumatic stress disorder explained                                                two dozen friends and family         In the wake of the bombing
rorism ever to strike the United                                                                                               who submitted supportive testi-      Notable figures from the Oklahoma City bombing,
States—few rigorous studies of            Definition                                                                           monials to the judge hearing         and what has happened since:
the bombing’s psychological af-          PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that can affect people who have                        Ramsey’s case last December.
tereffects on civilians and emer-                                                                                                 The judge, Virgil Black, be-
                                         experienced or witnessed life-threatening events such as:                                                                  Timothy McVeigh
gency workers were ever con-                                                                                                   lieving Ramsey’s attempt at re-
ducted.                                  Military combat, natural disasters, terrorist incidents, accidents                    habilitation was sincere, gave       The main perpetrator of the Oklahoma City bombing
   Only one study attempted to           and violent assaults.                                                                 him a 5-year deferred sen-           was convicted of 11 counts of murder and
quantify the occurrence of                                                                                                     tence—if Ramsey stays clean,         conspiracy in 1997 and sentenced to death. On June
                                         BACKGROUND                       PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS
PTSD and its attendant night-                                                                                                  the felonies will be erased from     11, 2001, he was executed by lethal injection at the
mares, withdrawal and depres-            PTSD has likely                  ●   Sleep abnormalities   ● Immune system            his record. Atop the 10-page pre-    federal penitentiary at Terre Haute, Ind. He was 33.
sion among Oklahoma City fire-           been around as                   ● Increased startle       problems                   sentencing report on Ramsey’s
fighters who responded to the            long as humankind,                                                                    life history and crimes, Black
                                                                          reflex                    ●   Dizziness                                                   Terry Nichols
bombing, and its conclusions             but its diagnosis                                                                     scrawled “Good Luck.”
were actually optimistic. Three                                           ●   Headaches             ●   Chest pain                Ramsey says he has been off       In 1997, Nichols, a friend of McVeigh’s, was convicted
                                         was not widely used
years after the bombing, PTSD                                                                                                  drugs and alcohol since July. He     by a federal jury for his part in the bombing
                                         until the 1980s.                 ●   Digestive problems
was diagnosed in only 13 per-                                                                                                  knows he has been granted a          conspiracy. He got a life sentence. Last August, an
cent of the firefighters, com-                                                                                                 precious second chance, and he       Oklahoma state court convicted him of 161 counts of
pared to 34 percent of bombing         AFFECTED GROUPS                                                                         thinks he can stay sober.            first-degree murder. Earlier this month, the FBI found
survivors, suggesting a particu-       PTSD affects people of all ages and ethnic groups. Nearly 8 percent of                     “My life has changed,” he         explosives at his former Kansas home.
lar resilience among rescue            Americans will experience PTSD at some point in their lives, with                       said. “I can deal with the pain.”
workers.                               women twice as likely as men to develop the condition. About 30
   But the psychiatrist who led                                                                                                Textbook case                        Michael Fortier
the study, Dr. Carol North, a na-
                                       percent of people who have spent time in war zones develop PTSD.                          Ramsey exhibited a textbook        An Army buddy of McVeigh’s, Fortier pleaded guilty
tionally recognized PTSD ex-           Source: National Center for PTSD                                      Chicago Tribune   case of PTSD, a debilitating mal-    to failing to warn law enforcement about the plot
pert at the Washington Univer-                                                                                                 ady that can drive its sufferers     and was sentenced to 12 years in prison in 1998.
sity School of Medicine in St.         apart from extraordinary ter-                      “My retort to Mr. Jack Poe is:       into major depression, sub-          The sentence was upheld in 2001.
Louis, noted that the 181 fire-        rorist attacks, about 3.6 percent               Show me what you did,” Jim              stance abuse and autoimmune
fighters interviewed were not          of U.S. adults will suffer PTSD                 Ramsey said. “You didn’t do             disorders, as well as suicide, ac-
randomly selected and were not         during an average year as a con-                anything.”                              cording to the National Center       John Doe #2
diagnosed by experts. Both fac-        sequence of accidents, crimes or                   Ramsey is a particular sore          for PTSD.                            Initially cited by the FBI as a possible bombing co-
tors could have skewed the re-         natural disasters, according to                 point for the Oklahoma City Po-           Telltale symptoms include          conspirator, John Doe #2 turned out to have been
sults.                                 the National Center for PTSD.                   lice Department because of his          traumatic nightmares, recur-         mistakenly identified by a witness. That explanation
   Officials of both the Oklaho-          Experts are more alarmed by                  high profile as a decorated res-        rent intrusive thoughts, intense     never satisified conspiracy theorists, however,
ma City Police and Fire Depart-        the torments experienced by                     cuer. Officials will not comment        feelings of helplessness or fear,    who believe he is still at large.
ments, hoping to avoid stigma-         rescue workers—the men and                      on his case, other than to say          psychic numbing and avoid-
tizing their employees, said           women who are the nation’s                      that he was offered help to deal        ance of people, places or stimuli    FAMOUS PHOTO
they collected no data on ad-          front-line response to domestic                 with his problems.                      that might trigger traumatic
verse aftereffects among rescue        terror attacks, whose training                     On May 11, 1996, Ramsey walk-        memories.
workers.                               and experience presumably in-                   ed across an Oklahoma City                But how to help first respon-
   Many other measures, howev-         ure them to catastrophe.                        stage to a standing ovation as he       ders like Ramsey avoid PTSD af-
er, indicate that the fallout from        Oklahoma fire and police offi-               received the Police Depart-             ter their repeated exposures to
the Oklahoma City bombing              cials say they did everything                   ment’s Medal of Honor for res-          catastrophic events is a subject
was severe.                            they could think of to help.                    cuing two women in the Murrah           of growing debate in the psychi-
   Project Heartland, a five-year         They activated a crisis-re-                  building in the face of grave           atric community.
counseling program set up to           sponse protocol popular with                    danger and despite his profound           Small group stress debrief-
help Oklahomans affected by            police and fire departments                     fear of heights. Yet even as he ac-     ings conducted soon after a
the bombing, provided services         across the country known as                     cepted the award, Ramsey was            traumatic event have been the
to 363 first responders, accord-       Critical Incident Stress Man-                   already deeply troubled.                preferred approach for first re-
ing to the program’s final re-         agement, in which first respon-                    He had begun a gambling ad-          sponders since the early 1980s.
port. The Fire Department              ders are gathered into small                    diction that would ultimately             During the debriefings, spe-
chaplain said he conducted             groups for intensive debriefing                 cost the $60,000 he and his wife        cially trained counselors lead
nearly 80 suicide interventions        sessions where they can share                   had saved for the down payment          participants through a detailed
among firefighters.                    their experiences among their                   on a house.                             recounting of the event to help
   A police officer and an assist-     peers. They made attendance at                     And just hours earlier, Ram-         alleviate feelings of guilt, blame
ant prosecutor committed sui-          the sessions mandatory. They                    sey had attended the funeral of         or helplessness. Any partici-
cide.                                  gave out phone numbers for cri-                 his close friend, Police Sgt. Ter-      pants who exhibit extreme reac-
   Alcohol abuse among fire-           sis hot lines.                                  rance Yeakey—the fellow police          tions are screened for further
fighters,     already      endemic        Everything was aimed, the of-                hero who committed suicide.             counseling, while the rest re-
among half the department be-          ficials say, at overcoming the in-                 “I buried him at 10 o’clock in       turn to their jobs.
fore the bombing, may have             stinctive reluctance of police                  the morning … 7 o’clock at night          Yet scientific studies in recent
worsened after it, but by how          and firefighters to admit they                  I received the Medal of Honor,”         years have concluded that the
much is not clear, according to        might be having psychological                   Ramsey said. “How am I sup-             debriefings do no good and may
North’s study.                         problems as a result of what                    posed to accept that award?”            actually harm some partici-
   The divorce rate doubled in         they encountered at the bomb-                      Beset by nightmares of the           pants by forcing them to relive
the Fire Department and tripled        ing scene—an admission many                     bombing and intrusive memo-             their traumatic experiences.
in the Police Department in the        in the hypermacho rescuer                       ries of carrying out the bodies of        “There is no current evidence
years after the Oklahoma City          world equate with weakness.                     children and laying them on the         that psychological debriefing is
attack, according to Diane Leo-                                                        grass, Ramsey soon began spi-           a useful treatment for the pre-                                                     AP photo by Charles H. Porter IV
nard, who coordinated three-           It’s harder for cops                            raling out of control. He turned        vention of post-traumatic stress
day crisis-debriefing sessions to         Police officers actually have it             to petty theft and kiting checks.       disorder after traumatic inci-       Chris Fields
help first responders.                 harder than firefighters, said                  He started having affairs. He be-       dents,” wrote the authors of one     Fields was the firefighter (above) shown cradling
   “They were just there to help       Kathy Thomas, a psychologist                    gan using cocaine and then deal-        influential study, published in      1-year-old Baylee Almon, a victim of the bombing
us, to help get our people out of      who specializes in treating first               ing it. His wife divorced him.          2002 in the Cochrane Database        who was pronounced dead later that day, in a photo
the building, and as a result of       responders.                                        “I was a good cop. I never got       of Systemic Reviews, an inter-       that became one of the lasting images of the
helping us they ended up with             “Firefighters have sort of a                 in any trouble,” Ramsey said.           national scientific clearin-         bombing. Fields still works for the Oklahoma City
these huge horrible situations,”       built-in mechanism for infor-                   “And then all of a sudden, it hits      ghouse. “Compulsory debrief-         Fire Department, where he is a captain, and his
said Leonard, whose husband,           mal debriefings: Back at the                    me like a ton of bricks … [I was]       ing of victims of trauma should
                                                                                                                                                                    family still keeps in touch with the Almons.
Don, a Secret Service agent, was       firehouse,      they’re     sitting             medicating myself for my fear           cease.”
killed in the bombing.                 around, they’re eating, they can                and my feelings and my pain.”             Dr. Bryan Bledsoe, an author
   Traumatic aftereffects from         talk about it if they want,” she                   In 2003, after 13 years on the       of several paramedic training        Charles Porter
the bombing were scarcely lim-         said. “But the police officers are              police force, Ramsey quit rather        manuals and a critic of the de-      Porter was the amateur photographer who took the
ited to professional rescue            [largely] by themselves.”                       than fight a charge of bad con-         briefings, says the practice is      Pulitzer Prize-winning photo of Fields holding the
workers. Project Heartland                Police chaplain Jack Poe said                duct stemming from his check            popular because it appeals to an
                                                                                                                                                                    young bombing victim. Today Porter lives in Ft. Worth,
counselors provided services to        his department was sensitive to                 kiting. He fell even further,           intuitive sense of what ought to
more than 8,800 individuals,           that problem. “I think anybody                  racking up the felony arrests.          work, even in the absence of sci-
                                                                                                                                                                    where he is a physical therapist and sometimes shoots
and the Red Cross and the Okla-        that came forward, the depart-                  Finally, last summer, he en-            entific data supporting it.          weddings and portraits.
homa City Community Founda-            ment tried anything in the                      rolled in a three-month addic-            “We have this need in Western      Source: Tribune reporting
tion are still paying for regular      world they could do to help                     tion rehab program.                     society to do something for eve-     disaster scene. Where neces-         definitive answers.
therapy sessions for several           them,” Poe said.                                   A psychiatrist diagnosed him         rybody,” Bledsoe said. “But          sary, cognitive behavioral ther-       “In order to speak intelligent-
dozen bombing survivors and               Yet some police officers angri-              with post-traumatic stress dis-         sometimes the best thing is do-      apy may help—a form of psycho-       ly about any kind of interven-
relatives of those who died.           ly disagree. They say supervi-                  order and bipolar disorder, and         ing nothing.”                        therapy in which patients are        tion and how effectively it
   Yet as tragic as it was, the psy-   sors stigmatized those who                      alcohol and drug dependence.              So what does work for first re-    taught to redirect their trau-       worked, you need to do a rando-
chological suffering of civilian       reached out for help and ques-                     When Ramsey got out, a sym-          sponders? Some experts recom-        matic thoughts.                      mized control trial,” North said.
victims caught up in such a cat-       tioned their fitness for duty.                  pathetic businessman gave him           mend simple palliatives, such          In other words, there may be       “In a disaster setting, that’s
astrophic event was not unex-          They assert that the counseling                 a job managing a chicken res-           as making rescuers comfortable       no quick fixes. North concedes       very difficult to do. It’s chaos.”
pected by trauma experts. Quite        they got was perfunctory.                       taurant in Oklahoma City. His           when they come off a shift at a      that researchers don’t have any        hwitt@tribune.com

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                                                                        O K L A H O M A C I T Y 1 0 Y E A R S L AT E R

Alan Prokop rushed headlong into the twisted wreckage of the federal building and carried victims to safety. Today he’s a recluse on a small farm in the Oklahoma hinterland.
                                                                                                                                                         I have nightmares about this          tirement.
OKLAHOMA CITY                                                                                                                                            bombing. … I was an embarrass-           Norman, 56, was widely
                                                                                                                                                         ment to [the Police Depart-           hailed by first responders and
                                                                                                                                                         ment].”                               other therapists for his empathy

2 rescuers in                                                                                                                                              Jack Poe, the Oklahoma City
                                                                                                                                                         Police Department chaplain,
                                                                                                                                                         disputes Prokop’s assertion that
                                                                                                                                                         he was driven out. He said he
                                                                                                                                                         tried to help Prokop, accompa-
                                                                                                                                                         nying him to Denver for
                                                                                                                                                         McVeigh’s trial in 1997 and send-
                                                                                                                                                         ing him to intensive counseling
                                                                                                                                                                                               and effectiveness, and his name
                                                                                                                                                                                               quickly spread as the counselor
                                                                                                                                                                                               of choice for those in crisis.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  For years after the bombing,
                                                                                                                                                                                               he was on call 24 hours a day He
                                                                                                                                                                                               says he interrupted hundreds of
                                                                                                                                                                                               suicide attempts by police offi-

                                                                                                                                                                                               cers and firefighters who felt too

need of saving
  Alan Prokop was an Oklahoma City police officer who rushed headlong into the
                                                                                                                                                         and debriefing sessions.
                                                                                                                                                           But he also has sympathy for
                                                                                                                                                         Prokop’s situation.
                                                                                                                                                           “I can understand how Alan
                                                                                                                                                         feels,” Poe said. “There is a stig-
                                                                                                                                                         ma attached, and that’s why it’s
                                                                                                                                                         so hard to get people to come for-
                                                                                                                                                         ward. I don’t think it’s real, but
                                                                                                                                                                                               stigmatized to seek help within
                                                                                                                                                                                               their departments.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  “If emergency service person-
                                                                                                                                                                                               nel get caught … seeing a coun-
                                                                                                                                                                                               selor, they’re marked,” Norman
                                                                                                                                                                                               said. “So what we told them was
                                                                                                                                                                                               … you don’t even have to tell us
                                                                                                                                                                                               your name. I’ll meet you wher-
twisted wreckage of the Murrah Federal Building and carried several victims to safety .                                                                  some people do feel there is a        ever you want to meet. So we
                                                                                                                                                         stigma.”                              have done one-on-ones in park-
Today he’s a recluse on a small farm in the Oklahoma hinterland, divorced from his                                                                                                             ing lots, in coffee shops, on creek
wife, estranged from his children and tempted by thoughts of killing himself.                                                                                                                  banks, at the intersections of
  Jim Norman was the crisis counselor who tried to help Prokop contend with the                                                                             Jim Norman, a Vietnam veter-       highways.”
paralyzing effects of post-traumatic stress disorder. Now he’s a stress victim himself,                                                                  an-turned-crisis counselor who           Others never directly at-
                                                                                                                                                         dedicated himself to working          tempted suicide but began ex-
forced into semiretirement, his molars ground down so completely that they all had to                                                                    with traumatized first respon-        hibiting increasingly reckless
be replaced.                                                                                                                                             ders to the Oklahoma City             behavior on the job, such as cops
  Sometimes the rescuers need help. And sometimes those who rescue the rescuers                                                                          bombing, was the one person           not wearing their Kevlar vests.
                                                                                        Prokop says he has suicidal thoughts.                            who was able to walk Prokop              As     Norman’s       reputation
fall victim as well.
                                                                                                                                                         back from the brink of shooting       spread and his successful inter-
   Nearly 200 miles from Oklaho-        ing hand sticking out of the rub-    he continued. “I could see his        “Brandon fought his way back.         himself.                              ventions multiplied, so did his
ma City secluded on the hilltop         ble, the rest of her body ob-        eyes were looking two different       His dad and family saved his             But the price Norman paid for      stress. He was summoned to
farm he named Purgatory Pro-            scured under tons of concrete        directions. He had a little green     life. They took care of him. …        absorbing Prokop’s nightmares         help after the Columbine school
kop struggles to keep his night-        and steel debris. Helpless to free   block in his hand that stuck to       I’m real proud of him.                and those of other police officers    shootings in Colorado, an earth-
mares at bay .                          her, Prokop said he did the only     my uniform, to the blood of my           “But it cost a lot.”               and firefighters was steep. His       quake in Taiwan, the Sept. 11 at-
   The worst one, he says, is           thing he could: He squeezed her      uniform. … I still have the block,       The cost for Prokop was his        immune system grew compro-            tacks and last winter’s tsunamis
when the dust-covered bodies            hand for five minutes as her life    by the way  .”                               ,
                                                                                                                   family his health and his job.        mised, like Prokop’s. He suf-         in Asia.
rise up out of the Murrah build-        ebbed away  .                           Brandon survived the blast,           Guilt, depression, agitation       fered a persistent infection. He         For a long time, he felt like he
ing ruins, blood spurting from             There were the cascades of liq-   which drove pieces of wallboard       and nightmares set in several         ruined his teeth.                     could never stop, that too many
their wounds—the scene he says          uid pouring down everywhere,         deep into his brain and crippled      months after the bombing, Pro-           “You know those nocturnal          lives depended on him.
he encountered as one of the            slickening every jagged foot-        his right arm. Today he’s a soft-     kop said. All are telltale signs of   splints? Bit through a couple of         “Mostly [it was] denial. You
first rescuers to arrive in the         hold. Prokop thought at first        spoken 6th grader who still suf-      post-traumatic stress disorder.       them,” Norman said. “Even             know, nobody can do this. They
minutes after the explosion.            that it was water. He soon real-     fers severe seizures and re-          He developed lupus, an autoim-        cracked a crown once.”                really count on me,” he said.
   “I can’t tell you how many           ized it was blood.                   quires extensive physical ther-       mune disorder. He started                Nor was Norman the only one.       “Get up. Go do it. Come back.
times I’ve sat down, pulled a              There were the children’s         apy .                                                    .
                                                                                                                   drinking heavily His adult chil-      Of the two dozen counselors           Get up. Go do it. I think people
Magnum out…” Prokop said,               body parts.                             He and his 2-year-old sister,      dren became estranged.                alongside Norman who were             get caught in that. It’s been my
his voice trailing off as he re-           And there was Brandon Den-        who was also severely injured,           But when he finally reached        originally assigned to Project        experience that people don’t
counted his frequent flirtations           ,
                                        ny a 3-year-old who had been         were two of only six gravely          out for help and told his superi-     Heartland, a mental health pro-       start doing anything different
with suicide.                           blissfully playing inside the        wounded children who survived         ors that he was experiencing          gram set up in the wake of the        until they hurt bad enough. I fi-
   In April 1995, Prokop was a          building’s day-care center when      the bombing. Fifteen of their         problems—and then testified           Oklahoma City bombing, nearly         nally started hurting bad
veteran of 26 years on the Okla-        the bomb went off.                   playmates were killed.                about his nightmares at Tim-          a third later succumbed to            enough.”
homa City police force, a ser-             “I looked down and saw a             Prokop, 53, hates being called     othy McVeigh’s trial for capital      stress that program officials            Now Norman restricts him-
geant who had seen his share of         chunk of rock, brick or some-        a hero, a label he says sets up im-   murder—Prokop says the Okla-          tied directly to their work. Two      self to a small counseling prac-
murder and accident victims, of         thing sticking out of his head,”     possible expectations that no         homa City Police Department           counselors suffered heart at-         tice and, when disasters strike,
abused children and battered            Prokop recounted. “I put my          one can ever live up to. He in-       shunned him, hounding him to          tacks, one of them fatal. Several     he consults with other crisis
spouses. But nothing, he said,          hand over the rock and I ran him     sists he did not save Brandon’s       retire on a medical disability  .     were afflicted with hyperten-         counselors—at a distance.
could have steeled him for what         out of the building, ran him back    life.                                    “I showed weakness,” Prokop        sion. One came down with mul-            “I will not go to a disaster to do
he encountered at the bomb site.        to triage.                              “The Lord saved his life. I just   said. “Not only did I show weak-      tiple sclerosis. The director of      that work. I’m not going to do
   There was a woman’s writh-              “The boy was in bad shape,”       carried him out,” he said.            ness, I testified to the world that   the program took a medical re-        that,” Norman said. “Probably       .”


Firehouses and police stations brace for 9/11 trauma
  NEW YORK — Trauma experts commonly predict that the odds                   them caught high in the stair-        of tons of debris down to dust.       houses where firefighters were        creases in the counseling unit’s
of any individual rescue worker at a disaster scene suffering post-          wells as they raced upward to            “It was the first time in histo-   lost—but at least he was not          caseload indicate that firefight-
                                                                             try to rescue victims. An addi-       ry that we left bodies behind—        starting from scratch.                ers who need help dealing with
traumatic stress disorder increase if there is massive loss of life.
                                                                             tional 23 New York City police        our bodies,” said Malachy Cor-           Nor did Corrigan choose to re-     Sept. 11 trauma are seeking it
They rise further if the catastrophe was caused by an act of terror-         officers died as well, along with     rigan, director of the FDNY           ly on standard protocols for          out. Before the attacks, the unit
ism, the exposure is prolonged and rescuers directly experience              37 Port Authority police officers     Counseling Service Unit. “I           Critical Incident Stress Man-         handled an average of 600 new
extreme fear for their own lives. And the risk goes higher still if          and 7 paramedics. The civilian        can’t overplay how important          agement debriefings employed          clients each year. In 2002, that
                                                                             death toll was more than 2,300.       that was.”                            by most other fire departments        number shot up to more than
friends, relatives or colleagues die at the scene.                             For the Fire Department,               Unlike many fire depart-           across the country. He had de-        4,500, and it stayed at more than
   Every one of those risk factors         “In most events, the first re-    Sept. 11 was a family tragedy. De-    ments in smaller American cit-        termined long ago that rigid,         four times the pre-Sept. 11 level
was present on Sept. 11, 2001, at       sponders are there in a helping      spite its mammoth size—more           ies, the FDNY already had a           large-group debriefings did not       in 2003 and 2004, according to
the site of the World Trade Cen-        capacity, not in a victim capac-     than 10,000 people—the depart-        large counseling unit in place at     fit the insular culture found in-     FDNY figures.
ter attacks in New York, in             ity,” said Dr. Kerry Kelly, chief    ment is really organized around       the time of the Sept. 11 attacks      side each New York City fire-           Other figures, however, hint
which unprecedented numbers             medical officer of the Fire De-      each tightly knit individual fire-    that is dedicated to helping fire-    house. Instead, each fire station     at the depth of the psychological
of civilians and first responders       partment of New York. “And           house. Many firefighters are          fighters deal with substance          conducted the same type of in-        problems the department is fac-
were killed.                            you’re usually there taking care     closely interconnected through        abuse problems and the trau-          formal, after-action discussions      ing. From Sept. 11, 2001, through
   Now New York City police and         of people who are essentially        relatives, friends and neigh-         mas associated with “bad calls”       around the kitchen table after        last January, the counseling
fire officials are groping              strangers. In this event, you had    bors, which magnified the im-         that result in the deaths of civil-   Sept. 11 to which participants        unit had diagnosed 1,245 cases of
through uncharted psychiatric           first responders who suddenly        pact of each loss.                    ians or firefighters.                 had long been accustomed.             anxiety, 809 cases of marital
territory as they seek to protect       became part of the perished.”          Worse still, the firefighters          For Corrigan, Sept. 11 meant a        “They call it a critique so it     problems, 675 cases of depres-
the mental health of their entire          More than 340 New York City       were unable to recover every          rapid and extraordinary expan-        sounds like business, but they        sion and 394 cases of post-trau-
departments from what could             firefighters from 61 firehouses      victim,     despite      spending     sion of his existing operation—       talk about everything,” Corri-        matic stress disorder. Alcohol
become an unprecedented cri-            were killed when the trade cen-      months at the site in rotating 12-    he quickly stationed counselors       gan said.                             and drug abuse cases nearly
sis.                                    ter towers collapsed, many of        hour shifts, raking the millions      directly in each of the fire-            He hopes that the huge in-         doubled from 2003 to 2004.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                   U.S. scotches
Forgotten victim: A child unborn                                                                                                                                                                   heart-healthy
Iraqi lost baby after
Oklahoma City attack                                                                                                                                                                               booze theory
By Howard Witt                                                                                                                                                                                     Associated Press
Tribune senior correspondent
                                                                                                                                                                                                      ATLANTA—The government
   OKLAHOMA CITY—There is                                                                                                                                                                          Tuesday warned that a few
no chair for Salam Mohammad.                                                                                                                                                                       drinks a day may not protect
   One hundred sixty-eight                                                                                                                                                                         against strokes and heart at-
empty bronze chairs line the                                                                                                                                                                       tacks after all.
grassy field where the Alfred P.                                                                                                                                                                      Some studies in recent years
Murrah Federal Building used                                                                                                                                                                       have touted the health benefits
to stand, each one a solemn me-                                                                                                                                                                    of moderate drinking.
morial to an individual killed                                                                                                                                                                        Some have even said that up
in the April 19, 1995, bombing.                                                                                                                                                                    to four drinks a day can signif-
   Salam did not perish on the                                                                                                                                                                     icantly reduce the risk of heart
day of the bombing. Nor did he                                                                                                                                                                     disease in people 40 and older.
die anywhere near the Murrah                                                                                                                                                                          But researchers at the Cen-
building. His name will not be                                                                                                                                                                     ters for Disease Control and Pre-
mentioned on Tuesday morn-                                                                                                                                                                         vention analyzed data from
ing, when Vice President Dick                                                                                                                                                                      250,000 Americans who partici-
Cheney and former President                                                                                                                                                                        pated in a 2003 telephone survey.
Bill Clinton are scheduled to be                                                                                                                                                                   They found that the non-drink-
among the dignitaries who are                                                                                                                                                                      ers had many more risks for
to speak at a 10th anniversary                                                                                                                                                                     heart disease—such as being
commemoration of the Oklaho-                                                                                                                                                                       overweight and inactive and
ma City bombing.                                                                                                                                                                                   having high blood pressure and
   But to many here in Oklaho-                                                                                                                                                                     diabetes—than the moderate
ma City’s small Muslim com-                                                                                                                                                                        drinkers.
munity, the 7-month fetus was a                                                                                                                                                                       Based on those results, the
casualty of the attack just the                                                                                                                                                                    agency could not say that mod-
same, one of countless collater-                                                                                                                                                                   erate drinking actually was a
al victims whose hidden stories                                                                                                                                                                    factor in reducing the risk of
have never been told.                                                                                                                                                                              heart disease.
   Salam’s pregnant mother, Sa-                                                                                                                                      Tribune photo by Pete Souza      The findings were published
har al-Moswi, was at home in              Iraqi immigrant Sahar al-Moswi suffered a miscarriage in April 1995 after her home in Oklahoma City was attacked.                                        in the May issue of the Ameri-
her Oklahoma City apartment                                                                                                                                                                        can Journal of Preventive Med-
on the morning after the bomb-                                                                                       di’s brother.                       doesn’t give me anything,” he             icine.
ing caring for her two young                                                                                            “No government, no police,       said. “I come here to United                 ‘‘We’re feeling the pendulum
children, listening to the news           O K L A H O M A C I T Y 10 Y E A R S L AT E R                              no anybody come and help us,”       States. The people when I come            has swung way too far, and
and wondering, like everyone              Í For more stories and photos of survivors,                                al-Saidi said. “Nobody comes        to this country, they treated me          Americans are getting sort of
else in America, who could                go to CHICAGOTRIBUNE.COM/OKLAHOMA                                          and says, ‘Sorry [for] what hap-    very well. …                              the wrong idea’’ on alcohol, said
have perpetrated such an awful                                                                                       pened.’ ”                              “Not all Americans bad as              the study’s lead author, Dr. Tim
crime. The broadcasts were                                                                                              Today the family lives in a      these people done to me,” he              Naimi of the CDC’s chronic dis-
filled with experts confidently           shooting,” recalled al-Moswi,         had the suspected bomber, Tim-       cramped three-bedroom apart-        added. “A lot of people, they’ve          eases division. ‘‘The science
asserting that the bombing                now 35. “I did not see the rock. I    othy McVeigh, in custody on a        ment in a tattered complex in       been on my side. I work for sea-          around moderate drinking is
bore the hallmarks of a Middle            heard the noise. The glass is all     traffic charge—al-Moswi suf-         suburban Washington. The cou-       food market right now. I feel like        very murky.’’
Eastern terrorist attack.                 over the place. …                     fered a miscarriage.                 ple have had three more chil-       they my family. All friendly, all            Moderate drinkers tended to
   Al-Moswi felt a chill. She and            “I take the kids and I go to the      “The doctor, he says because      dren in the years since the         nice. I have had no problem               be in better health, better edu-
her husband, Haidar al-Saidi,             bathroom,” she continued. “It’s       she heard the noise, she jump-       bombing, and the parents are        with them.”                               cated, wealthier and more ac-
both Shiite Muslims, had fled             hard to move—big stomach and          ed, she lost the control of the      struggling to make ends meet in        What few of his co-workers             tive than their non-drinking
the persecution and torture of            two kids. I go to the bathroom. I     baby,” al-Saidi said.                low-wage jobs.                      know, however, is the sorrow              counterparts, and that likely in-
Saddam Hussein’s Iraq in the              thought I might be safe there. I         No one was arrested in the at-      But anti-Muslim hysteria fol-     that overtakes the family in              fluenced their lower risk of
early 1990s and, thanks to fam-           [feared] people that might            tack, but the family is certain      lowed them to their new home:       April every year as Salam is              heart disease, the study said.
ily ties, had landed in the mid-          come” and break into the apart-       they were singled out because of     Al-Saidi said he lost a well-pay-   mourned. Their 12-year-old                   ‘‘It appears that moderate
dle American tranquility of Ok-           ment.                                 the initial surge of suspicion di-   ing job at a supermarket ware-      daughter, not understanding               drinkers have many social and
lahoma City. Like many refu-                 Moments later, al-Moswi dou-       rected at Muslims. They even         house after Sept. 11, 2001, when    what happened, has begun ask-             lifestyle characteristics that fa-
gees and immigrants, they had             bled over in pain and started         think they know who threw the        other employees falsely ac-         ing whether he is still alive.            vor their survival over non-
tried to keep a low profile in            bleeding. But, terrified that at-     rock—a neighbor who had al-          cused him of participating in          “We pray for the baby, and ev-         drinkers and few of these differ-
their new neighborhood, where             tackers might be waiting out-         ways treated them warily—but         the attacks.                        ery year we just make some food           ences are likely due to alcohol
they stood out as the only Mus-           side the bathroom, she waited         they have no proof.                    Yet al-Saidi answers forceful-    and pray to God, and read him             consumption itself,’’ the study
lims.                                     nearly an hour before sending            Devastated, frightened and        ly when asked whether he bears      some books, you know, for the             said.
   Suddenly the living room               one of her children to get a por-     unable to bear staying in Okla-      his adoptive country any mal-       baby,” al-Saidi said.                        Alcohol is the nation’s third
window shattered, sending                 table phone from another room         homa City, the couple quickly        ice for the suffering he has en-       But, he added somberly, “we            leading cause of death, killing
shards of glass flying across the         so she could call for help.           fled with their children, selling    dured since escaping his native     cannot go visit the grave in Ok-          75,000 Americans each year
room. A rock landed on the car-              The next day in the hospital—      their car and possessions at a       Iraq.                               lahoma City. We cannot afford             through related injuries or dis-
pet.                                      about the time authorities were       loss to raise enough money to          “My country doesn’t give me       it.”                                      eases, the CDC says.
   “I was scared somebody                 discovering that they already         move to Maryland, near al-Sai-       anything—[Iraq] took from me,          hwitt@tribune.com

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