Monday, July 29, 1996

Week of 07/29/1996

Editor's note: The following article was submitted immediately after the Centennial Olympic Park Bombing.
Gone in a Flash
- by David Matthews 2

It was supposed to be a center for celebration. A place where people from around the world could meet, enjoy some free music, and have fun. Centennial Park in Atlanta was supposed to be the ideal location for such an event. No hassles, no complex security arrangements. Perfect for the international visitors and local guests.

All of that came to a crashing halt early Saturday morning with an explosion that took two lives and injured over 100 other people.

The specter of terror in the Olympics has remained with us since 1972, when armed terrorists took Israeli athletes hostage in Munich, Germany. And indeed, many of the security measures used by Olympic officials and federal, state, and local law enforcement seemed to reflect their concern that they did not want a repeat of Munich.

Yet, despite the effort placed on protecting the athletes and dignitaries from around the world, a single bomb still managed to strike a serious blow to the festive spirit gathered for this event- in a place few would even suspect.

Those who read my articles here know of the somewhat skeptical nature concerning the Olympics and the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games, especially with all the security measures and the general attitude that the residents are considered more of an unwanted intruder than proud host. But I for one would never advocate the carnage that resulted by detonating a bomb in the middle of Centennial Park, no matter what reason. That action is a mark of sheer cowardice and stupidity.

For all the disagreements I and many others may have with how ACOG has been treating the residents here, I’m sure I can speak for many people that I hope the perpetrators of this foul act be captured and duly prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Likewise, my heart goes out to those who have been victimized by this tragedy.

For certain, this sad event will not only cast a shadow on the rest of the Olympic events, but for future Olympic games as well.

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