Friday, August 01, 2008

We Are Remembering . . .

This is a scene of the new I-35 bridge, still under construction. It is immediately beyond the 10th Avenue Bridge, which is in the forefront.

Today we are remembering the horrific event a year ago of the collapse of the I-35 bridge near downtown Minneapolis. 13 people lost their lives. Many others were badly injured and are still recovering. Heroes came from all directions. There were so many cries for help, it was hard to know who should be helped first.

Where were you when you heard the news? I was watching the 6 pm news on my favorite news channel - KARE 11 - when at 6:06 they broke into their broadcast with "breaking news" of the hard to believe event. What? The bridge collapsed?! How could that be? Hundreds of vehicles were creeping along in bumper-to-bumper traffic due to construction crews on the bridge. Many of them fell into the Mississippi River. A school bus full of kids returning from a summer outing was hanging near the edge. A truck burned upon impact.

I immediately phoned Hans in Rhode Island and told him to turn on the news - something like CNN - because the I-35 bridge had just fallen. "Which bridge, Mom?" The one by the U. "You're kidding!" No, it's true. "My gosh, I've been over that bridge thousands of times." Me too.

Later that night I learned that that my cousin Jill had been over the bridge three times just that day!

The new construction crew started rebuilding the newly designed bridge last fall. They were given a completion date of December 24, 2008. They have worked around the clock since commencing and say they will have it completed in September - next month. Today, in memory of those who lost their lives, they will stop work from 3 - 9 pm.

There is a memorial worship service today at 11 am. Later in the day, 13 wreaths will be placed into the Mississippi River from the Stone Arch Bridge, while the names are the victims are read. At 6:05 pm, there will be a minute of silence throughout the twin cities.

[Notes from today's events: today while family, friends, responders and neighbors gathered at the Gold Medal Park, a bald eagle circled the air above them. It was a peaceful scene. From there the group walked to the Stone Arch Bridge, led by a company of bagpipers. The names of the 13 victims were read just before 6:05. At 6:05, some of the construction workers - in hard hats - stood on the new bridge and unfurled a large American flag. State-wide we were urged to hold a minute of silence. At 6:07, bells tolled from several big churches in downtown Minneapolis. I think it was a fitting remembrance.]

1 comment:

Heidi said...

I was at work and a friend left me a voice mail. It still doesn't seem possible.