Little by little, Woodburn is recovering. The Oregon town, traumatized by a December '08 bank bombing that killed a police officer, a state trooper and severely maimed a police chief, is quietly pulling itself together.
On July 20, 2009 Valerie Hurst of KATU News reported:
On Monday that West Coast bank branch reopened for business, with a new memorial outside the building. The bank's regional president said he hopes friends and neighbors will stop by to see the new place. Managers say the staff is eager to be back.
This KATU News video shows the new memorial and discusses the attack.
In this RedCrossRealHeroes vidoes, Sgt. John Mikkola and Sgt. Nick Wilson describe entering the bank just after the bomb exploded, looking for survivors:
Woodburn Police Chief Scott Russell, whose rescue is described in the above video, is now back at work part-time, after 28 surgeries and months of physical therapy. He managed to survive the blast, but lost a leg:
"He said he does not remember anything from that fateful day, Dec. 12, when Woodburn Police Capt. Tom Tennant and Oregon State Police Senior Trooper William Hakim were killed inside a Woodburn West Coast Bank branch.
They were trying to open what Hakim believed was a hoax bomb when it exploded. Russell was nearby.
He said Tuesday he believed he survived for a reason. “I have a bigger mission to fulfill,” he said. “I’m not sure what that is yet. That'll be my life's work to look for that. But there’s something left for me to do.”
As to Bruce and Joshua Turnidge, the father and son arrested in connection with the deadly bombing, Russell said they are in the right place – behind bars.
“I have forgiven them,” he said. “I have to forgive them. It’s a matter of my personal belief that hatred will eat you up. And so that’s my choice and my family's choice.”
(reported by Melica Johnson KATU News and KATU.com Staff)
After the bombing, a group of citizens formed Woodburn Proud, an organization devoted to supporting Woodburn police and emergency personnel.
Woodburn, Oregon (population: 20,100) is an example of good people standing up to terrorism. It has become a community of heroes.
(AP is now reporting that the State of Oregon will seek the death penalty in the upcoming trial, which will begin in September, 2010.)