This one is about bridges
One year ago, pretty much to the minute (6:14 p.m.), I hit gridlock on Interstate 35W northbound, just south of the Washington Avenue/3rd Street exit. Cars were turning around on the freeway, jumping the curb, and hastily taking that exit. It didn't take long to figure out something was horribly wrong, and a quick cell phone call brought the sketchy details. Part of a bridge had collapsed--the bridge I was intending to cross.
The bottom line for me: Had I been about 9 minutes earlier, I'd have been on that bridge. And maybe in the water. And maybe dead.
I drove first to the 5th Street pedestrian bridge, then the old No. 9 railroad bridge, to take pictures of the chaos. It never occurred to me to race to the water and try to offer my assistance, like it did to the many heroes that evening. To them I offer my admiration; I think many more lives would have been lost without their help.
I just attended the ceremony at Gold Medal Park prior to the procession to the Stone Arch Bridge for the memorial at 6:00 and the moment of silence at 6:05. That scene from a year ago sticks in my mind, clearer than the pictures I took that evening and the next day. And I imagine the images are intense beyond my imagination for those who survived and those who helped them. My thoughts and prayers go out to you. God bless.