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Remembering Those Who Perished

It is America's symbol of sorrow. A chain-link fence, that's become a shrine to the 168 men, women, and children killed in the Oklahoma City bombing of 1995.

"It's almost a closeness with the emotion of what's going on and what has taken place," says tourist Bobby Ethride.

It is a gathering site for a nation's grief.

"There's a lot of emotion at the fence," says Darlene Welch, a victim's relative. "A lot of people, a lot of tears, a lot of sadness, a lot of good memories of who the people were."

At first, the fence was intended to be temporary, something to protect the bomb site, but because so many millions of people have come to see it and touch it, a section of the fence will now be part of the permanent memorial.

"The people created this," says tourist Anita Ciaccia. "The loved ones, the well-wishers not from this city, not from this country, but all over the world, and I think that is the most powerful thing about this fence."

At crowded ceremonies, launching construction of the Oklahoma City National Memorial, Vice President Gore was joined by families and friends of the victims in breaking ground.

And to pay for the $24 million memorial, a fundraising campaign began Monday, asking America's school children to give 168 pennies, one for each of the bombing's victims.

"We have a lot of pennies at home," says one little girl. "But I think I'm gonna donate more than 168 pennies."

Late Monday, with a solemness that attends every official program at the bomb site, bomb survivors and victim's family members carefully began moving the fence, that in 18 months, will be on display at the national memorial. The fence that for so many has linked the living with the hundreds who died.

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