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Survivors of Mount Carmel siege remember lives lost 25 years ago

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Posted at 7:08 PM, Apr 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-19 20:16:51-04

A quarter of a century ago today marked the fiery end of the 51-day standoff between federal agents and the Branch Davidians.

More than 70 people gathered inside the Helen Marie Taylor Museum in Waco to honor the 82 Branch Davidians who lost their lives alongside four ATF agents.

For three hours, multiple speakers shared their memories of the past.

"To me, this day really isn't about me or any of the great speakers. It's about the people who died at Mount Carmel, people we can't bring back," said David Thibodeau, a survivor of the siege. 

Many of those who spoke also voiced their frustrations with the government and how the situation was handled by federal agents.

"What most people don't know is all the opportunities they had to make it right," said Clive Doyle, another survivor of the siege.

A slideshow was made for the victims. The crowd silently for nearly an hour and watched as each of their photos appeared before them as names were read aloud.

"They died for what they believed in and they stood up with courage for what they believed in. When many, many, many people don't," Thibodeau said. "I just think that should be honored instead of  being made to be some kind of cultish, freakish thing."

CDs were also passed out during the memorial service. Each one includes 14 hours of David Koresh's teachings and music.

Doyle has been hosting these memorials each year since 1995.

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