The statement by Ed Smith of Seaford, N.Y., whose wife was killed in the New York World Trade Center bombing, before the four defendants in the bombing trial were sentenced:
One night, in the autumn of 1992, I was at school and called home as I did every night between classes, but this call would be different from any other I had ever made.
My wife, Monica Smith, told me to hurry home after class. She had purchased a pregnancy test and wouldn't take the test until I got home. The anticipation grew and I left class 15 minutes early and raced home. We took the test and it came back positive. Our lives and marriage would now have everything we wanted. A new baby was on the way, and I can remember that night as if it were yesterday because I never felt so close to another human being. We slept in each other's arms as if we were one person.
Through testing, we learned we would have a boy. We named our son Eddie. From then on I would come home at night and sing to our baby as Monica, Eddie and myself lay in bed too excited about life to sleep. We had fixed our house from top to bottom. We visited the doctor together and listened to the baby's heart beating contentedly inside his mom. Near the end of February, with just a few months to go before Eddie was due, we went shopping for baby furniture.
Then came Feb. 26, 1993. The day started out exciting and happy as I was coming home from a business trip to be with Monica and Eddie. I can remember it better than yesterday. A fellow employee walked into a meeting and said there was a fire at the World Trade Center. A few minutes later the employee came back in and told me that it was not a fire, but an explosion. I immediately called Monica's office. There was no answer and there would never be an answer. I raced in my car for New York, calling everyone--anyone to see if they had heard from Monica. They had not.
At 11 p.m., Monica's best friend's mom called the New York City morgue and the worst part of my life started. I was told that I should come right away. I asked the man on the phone "What about my son?" "Sir," he said, "do you know how bad it was?"
Nobody could have ever prepared me for the feelings I was experiencing. I had lost my wife, my best friend, my idol and my son. I would never get the chance to tell Monica how much I loved her. I would never get to tell her what an inspiration she had been. I would never get to tell her what a best friend meant to me.
We would never get to hear Eddie say his first word, to say "mommy," "daddy," "love." We would never get the opportunity to see Eddie walk or go to school. We would never see Eddie grow up and experience all the love and respect, friendship that parents share with a child.
We lost all this because the four men you are to sentence today wanted to terrorize the people of the United States. I always ask myself what type of person shows no regard for human life and would bomb the most populated buildings in the world?
What god would want people to die in his name?
First, to Judge Duffy. On behalf of our nation of laws, your honor conducted a trial here that focused on a long, difficult and perhaps abstract body of evidence.
Judge Duffy, we ask that you remember the crimes committed just a few blocks away from this courtroom were not abstractions. As you deliver sentence, we ask that you remember that these crimes are not, in the end, about...any of the volumes of evidence that have brought us to this day. The crime is not the sum of concrete destroyed, pipes smashed, or millions spent.
We, who have buried our dead without a chance to lay a comforting hand on their heads, ask that you remember this bombing was an act of multiple murder.
"Somewhere on the streets of India right now a person brighter than you is starving to death. Across this country there are people working third shift just getting by in factories that are smarter than you or I."
"You know, I have them sitting there laughing while I'm sentencing them."
"Information is not power. If information were power, then librarians would be the most powerful people on the planet."*
(text of May 28, 1994 Vancouver Sun column)
*-MAY I ONLY POINT OUT HERE THAT CHARLES de SECONDAT MONTESQUIEU (1689-1755) OBSERVED THAT:
""POWER WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE IS "POWER LOST."
...PLEASE TAKE A BRIEF SIDESTEP HERE TO CONSIDER THE FOOTNOTE ABOUT NEW YORK TIMES INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER JUDITH MILLER AND THE OTHERS AND THEN COME BACK HERE.
I AM NOT GOING TO DO THE DIGGING ON THIS. BUT I SUGGEST THAT SOMEONE OUGHT TO DO IT.
AFTER THE WORLD TRADE CENTER BOMBING, I BELIEVE A COMPETENT REVIEW OF THE SECURITY FORCES' INVESTIGATION WOULD SUBSTANTIATE THAT AT FIRST THEY FOUND IT ALMOST LAUGHABLE HOW MUCH EVIDENCE THERE WAS TO INCRIMINATE THE SUSPECTS.
IT MAY HAVE SEEMED THAT THEY WANTED TO BE CAUGHT.
THEN WHAT ALARMED AND UPSET JUDITH MILLER AND HER COLLEAGUES HAPPENED.
...AND NOW THEY ARE WEARING GLOVES...