Conversation on the interstate in St. Louis. Belle: "Look! There is the arch!"
Me: "Ain't that interesting?"
There were several gateways to the west. Just west of here, Fort Jesup funneled settlers into Texas prior to the revolution. Shreveport was a prime jumping off point after Texas was independent. Farther north, Fort Smith was instrumental in opening the Oklahoma Territory. St. Louis played its part and helped out, and now they have a big arch commemorating that fact.
It would have been cool if they had spanned the Mississippi with the arch, but they didn't, and now I've seen it.