NBC News   |  April 16, 2013

From Oklahoma to Boston, are bombings a new reality?

NBC News' Brian Williams talks to Tom Brokaw about the Boston Marathon bombing and how it compares to the Oklahoma City bombings that Brokaw covered in 1995.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> tom brokaw to spend some time with us tonight from the washington newsroom. tom, think of what you and i have witnessed on our shifts so far together from nbc news from oklahoma city right on up to present day . what did today conjure for you if anything watching it all?

>> well, that was a horrific event today and there was so much more that we still need to know about it but when you look at oklahoma city , the magnitude of the attack so much greater, brian. killed 168 people. it was a deliberate terrorist attack on a federal government by timmy mcveigh and accomplices. i was in oklahoma city just last week and everyone i talked to there said it was a terrible price to pay but it made us a more compassionate and unified city. i went by the memorial. it was a very somber remembrance of what had happened there and same time it was beautiful and they have a city motto now. one city, one nation, one resolve. and ironically, they had scheduled a marathon for next week as a memorial to what happened in oklahoma city . tonight they're reviewing safety and security concerns in oklahoma city , brian.

>> i hated to make the point to michael lighter earlier tonight but it's true. we have ten years of in effect graduates of the school of counterterrorism and investigations. military civilian and intelligence and at least today if you're looking for anything good out of this, at least today we're in better shape to investigate what happened to us than we were ten, 15 years ago.

>> no question about it. we're so an open society and vulnerable to attacks every day. everyone has to understand tonight, however, beginning tomorrow morning early there's going to be much tougher security considerations across the country. however exhausted we may be by them. we have to live with them and get along and go forward and not let them bring us to our knees. you will remember last summer we were unhappy with the conventions. now i don't think that we could raise the complaints of what happened today in boston, bri yn.

>> tom, this explosion went off between a building and police officers , many of whom i'm sure happy to have been wearing kevlar vests as part of the duty kit because of the era we live in and if it can get there, how are we ever going to protect public events?

>> well, that's the point. and i've been thinking today about my children and grandchildren who will never know the days of innocence i did. that you could go anywhere and not worry about some kind of an explosive device being detonated and the innocent victims who just happen to be there pay a terrible price but the price of freedom and the world we live in today because so many of the demented people find on the internet an ability to make a bomb and get attention for whatever twisted cause that they have in mind. that's just the reality of living in a free society and we'll get on with it.

>> it is indeed sad note to end on. a sign of our times. tom brokaw of our washington newsroom, a pleasure to have you tonight. thank you very much.