- The Washington Times - Friday, February 28, 2003

WACO, Texas, Feb. 28 (UPI) — Branch Davidians planned a small gathering at their Texas chapel Friday to recall the government raid 10 years ago that started a deadly standoff watched by the world for 51 days.

Four agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and six Davidians were killed in the 45-minute gun battle that broke out on that Sunday morning at the sect's compound near Waco as agents attempted to search for firearms.

Davidian leader David Koresh and 83 of his followers — including men, women and children — died during an inferno that consumed their home April 19, 1993, during an FBI raid.

The small group of Davidians who remain in the area traditionally hold a memorial on April 19 at a small chapel they built at Mount Carmel but they planned a small gathering Friday because relatives of those killed on Feb. 28, 1993 requested it.

Branch Davidian leader Clive Doyle said they will read the names of the Davidians and the federal agents killed in the raid. He said followers feel they were wronged by the government but they don't hold a grudge against individual agents.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms headquarters says offices around the country can recogniz the day in any manner they want. Sixteen agents were also wounded in the gunfight with the Davidians who were heavily armed.

Among the Davidians who were escorted out of the Mount Carmel compound during negotiations were a number of children and the years have been tough on them, according to Doyle, who is also a survivor.

"They've all pretty much grown up now, in their teens. They still can't understand why their government hasn't even apologized, let alone done anything to reimburse them," Doyle told the Houston Chronicle in a recent interview.

Doyle leads weekly services for about six people at the small chapel.

Mount Carmel has become an unofficial tourist stop for travelers but there is little to see except for the small chapel, a charred bus, Koresh's rusty motorcycle, and a planting of more than 80 crape myrtles that remembers the Davidians who died.

Nearby in the small town of Elk there is a monument to the slain ATF agents outside a catholic church.





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