Woodburn marks 10 years since West Coast Bank bombing
A couple hundred people gathered at the Woodburn Memorial Transit Center last Wednesday to remember two police officers whose lives were lost in a bombing exactly 10 years earlier.
On Dec. 12, 2008, Oregon State Police Senior Trooper Bill Hakim and Woodburn Police Capt. Tom Tennant died after a bomb they were trying to dismantle blew up inside the West Coast Bank location on Highway 214. The blast also maimed then-Woodburn Police Chief Scott Russell (who lost a leg) and injured bank employee Laurie Perkett. Father and son Bruce and Josh Turnidge were convicted in 2010 and sentenced to death row, where they remain today.
Out of tragedy has emerged triumph, in the form of Woodburn Proud, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and supporting the good in the community.
"We are in a very good place now in the city of Woodburn," Woodburn city administrator Scott Derickson told the audience that gathered last Wednesday. "Mostly, because of people like you, but we will never forget, and we will never forget everything you did for us."
Newly-elected Mayor Eric Swenson, who has been active with Woodburn Proud, also spoke at the event.
"We stand here today to do what our community and its supporters did 10 years ago — to shine a light into the darkness," he said. "It's a way to keep comfort and joy in our hearts during the inevitable human suffering that we endure."
The event was attended by dozens of first responders and community members, as well as the families of the two fallen police officers.
The ceremony, emceed by Woodburn Police Chief Jim Ferraris, featured prayers by police chaplain Luis Molina, a laying of wreaths on a wrought-iron memorial and a presentation of statuettes to responders who assisted on that day.
"I just want to say Bill, Tom, thank you," former Mayor Kathy Figley said during the ceremony. "We love you, we miss you."