- Associated Press - Sunday, May 4, 2014

CACHE, Okla. (AP) - Students in the Cache Public Schools Talented and Gifted (TAG) program are studying the ins and outs of both man-made and natural disasters.

The students in grades 5-8 are studying two key disasters, both in Oklahoma: the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995, and last year’s Moore tornado. Some 168 people were killed in the Oklahoma City bombing nearly 20 years ago and 24 lives were lost in the Moore tornado.

As part of their study of the Oklahoma City bombing, the TAG students took a field trip to the Oklahoma National Museum and Memorial on the former site of the bombed downtown building.

“It had as much emotional impact on the teachers who attended as it did on the students,” Nolan Watson, Cache Middle School teacher and adviser of the TAG program, told The Lawton Constitution (http://bit.ly/1bmgJ2p).

The TAG students described what they learned about the Oklahoma City bombing, which occurred a few years before they were born, through the field trip and other research they are conducting on the worst man-made disaster in Oklahoma history.

Eighth-grader Madison Marshall said she learned a lot about Timothy McVeigh, who was executed for his part in the bombing.

“He was a homegrown terrorist,” she said.

Kade Klemmer, a seventh-grader, said the rental truck that McVeigh used in the bombing was twisted by the explosion but that parts from that vehicle were found and pieced back together.

“I thought it was incredible they could find and match the (rear) bumper and trailer hitch to the truck even though they were lost,” he said.

McVeigh was arrested by an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper about 90 minutes after the bombing following a traffic stop on Interstate 35 near Perry. McVeigh was arrested on complaints of driving without a license plate and unlawfully carrying a weapon.

“It was almost by accident McVeigh was caught due to the missing license plate and his possession of a gun,” said 8th-grader Caleb Fry.

Co-conspirator Terry Nichols was arrested near his home in Herington, Kan., days later.

Many of the 168 victims of the bombing were children in the day care center inside the Murrah Federal Building. Etched in one student’s mind are efforts to rescue them.

“I see a lot of images of firefighters holding children and trying to save their lives,” Fry said.

Also noted by the students were the boxes at the day care with children’s photos and personal belongings that were found and removed following the bombing.

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