To Our Readers, May 1, 1995

"THIS ISN'T AMERICA, this can't be America," Sam Gwynne remembers thinking as he arrived in Oklahoma City on the afternoon of its darkest day. But it was, and Gwynne, Time's Austin bureau chief, was the first of six Time correspondents converging on Oklahoma City from all parts of the country (backed by two dozen others elsewhere) to report this week's unusually disturbing cover package. All had seen death before; each was nonetheless shaken by the enormity of the Oklahoma tragedy. Says correspondent Ann Simmons: "You can't become inured to suffering on this scale."

Sam Allis, our Boston bureau chief, examined the...

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