chapter  12
American History X (1998)
ByPAUL SMITH
Pages 15

Before the attacks of 9/11, the most significant terrorist event on American1 soil arguably had been the bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995, when 168 people died at the hands of right-wing extremists, notably Timothy McVeigh. The Oklahoma City National Memorial that opened in 2000 now commemorates that attack. It is an interestingly literal monument. Built on the exact site of the downed building, it features two large portals called The Gates of Time, one at each end of the site and serving as entrance and exit to a park and a reflecting pool. Over the bronze-clad granite mass of the gates are engraved the time before the bombing at one end – 9.01 – and at the other end 9.03, the time when (according to the National Park Service who run the monument) people’s lives ‘were changed forever’.2