Wednesday, August 01, 2012

The Bridge

We're already five years on from the collapse of the old 35W bridge. I wrote about it here. An excerpt:

The images, now ubiquitous, are horrifying. The twisted green metal superstructure, tangled and jutting out at bizarre angles, providing a reminder of the incredible force unleashed. The slab of concrete blocks the river flow, with equally large slabs jutting out from the shoreline below, pointing toward the hazy, August sky. The cars, buses and trucks are scattered throughout the site, with unknown numbers of late model vehicles submerged under tons of steel and concrete.

It’s a horrifying thing, the collapse of a major bridge. The rumble of death will reverberate here for a long time. This is the stuff of disaster movies, a Jerry Bruckheimer image writ large and real. We’ll live with the consequences of August 1, 2007 for many years.

Still, there is beauty if you look for it. The performance of the first responders was magnificent; the death toll could have easily reached 100, maybe 200 people, but most likely will be far less. The police and fire departments of Minneapolis, so often the well-deserved targets of invective and ridicule for their petty corruption and silly political correctness, performed with grace, professionalism and amazing calm, given the extent of the calamity they found. The paramedics and doctors arriving on the scene were ready, moved quickly, and saved dozens of people. The Red Cross, whose Minneapolis headquarters sits nearby the scene, provided valuable services and comforted the victims and their families. 

What do you remember about that day?


Brad said...

What do you remember about that day?

Leftist politicians and their media lapdogs exploiting the tragedy before the bodies were even cold. Essentially they blamed Gov. Pawlenty for stonewalling a gas tax increase as the reason our infrastructure was crumbling. The most popular chanting point was how our country was "spending billions of dollars in Iraq yet our bridges are falling down."

Dems exploiting a tragedy. Huh. Some things never change (See Tucson, AZ and Aurora, CO).

Mr. D said...

I remember that, too, Brad. I wrote this as well that day:

I am certain that the recriminations will start coming, even before the scene is cleared and the victims identified. It already started last night, as I watched the execrable Elwyn Tinklenberg on KARE television essentially state that the bridge collapsed because the state had not raised the gasoline tax up to a level of his liking. There will be others who will blame Carol Molnau, or Tim Pawlenty. We could just as easily blame Karl Rolvaag or Harold LeVander, the respective governors who presided over the construction of the bridge back in the late 1960s. Neither of them is available for comment at this time.

And as it turned out, the DFL ousted Molnau for no good reason at all. On the good side, Tinklenberg got his butt handed to him by Michele Bachmann and has not been visible since. And Rolvaag and LeVander are still unavailable for comment.