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?