As we near the 25th anniversary of the Olympic Park bombing, I ask that we consider not using the name of the terrorist who detonated the explosion on July 27, 1996 that killed 2 and wounded 111. No recognition should be given to the criminal who went on to commit more bombings in Atlanta, and another murder in Birmingham, Alabama.
I ask for serious ongoing consideration of the “No Notoriety” campaign founded by Tom and Caren Teves, and deny this murderer the infamy he craves, to deny him any attention.
“The quest for notoriety and infamy is a well-known motivating factor in rampage mass killings and violent copycat crimes.” The Atlanta History Center has adopted this “No Notoriety” position and the new Olympic exhibit bears no reference to the terrorist who sought fame for himself and his cause. I recommend you log on to NoNotoriety.com.- NO NOTORIETY
In response to a 2019 murderous terrorist attack in New Zealand, Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern stated: “He sought many things from his act of terror, but one was notoriety, and that is why you will never hear me mention his name,” “He is a terrorist, he is a criminal, he is an extremist. But he will, when I speak, be nameless.” The Atlanta Olympic Park bomber should be nameless as well.
The psychopath who committed murders in Georgia and Alabama will live out his days anonymously in a federal maximum security prison. To even mention his name demeans the victims of his crimes. He wanted attention and that the motive of the Atlanta Centennial Olympic Park bomber was not to target the Olympic Games. It was the act of an anti-government psychopath. The exact quote of the murderer from his sentencing hearing was: “The purpose of the attack on July 27th at Centennial Park was to confound, anger and embarrass the Washington government in the eyes of the world for its abominable sanctioning of abortion on demand.”
Atlanta’s response was amazing. The decision for the Games to proceed as planned was embraced by the thousands who came out the next day to ride the buses and trains, to fill the streets, to compete and to attend the events. Atlanta and Georgia chose not to succumb to fear. Across the state of Georgia people knew that any crowd of people could become a target, but they chose to embrace the spirit of the events, to trust in the increased security, to endure the inconveniences of lines for security screening. The show went on.
The murderer who set bombs in Atlanta and Birmingham was seeking attention for a political cause. Give him nothing!
Rather I ask that now, 25 years later, we remember the victims.
Lou Arcangeli is a retired Atlanta Police Department deputy chief.