A catastrophe of historic proportions
Today marks five years since the collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge in Minneapolis. I was one of the first people to arrive at the scene. When the dust cleared, I thought I was looking at a mass grave.
Although some details of that day escape me, the images are seared into my memory. Especially those of the survivors, emerging one by one from their cars.
I couldn’t believe that anyone would survive the 60-foot (80-meter) plunge. But somehow, they did. A few even comforted the injured while help arrived.
Although some news accounts described the bridge collapse as “a catastrophe of historic proportions,” being there put a much more human face on this tragic event. I can picture a handful of the 13 people who died … the emergency-response personnel who risked their lives to save others … and the 200 survivors who are still working to rebuild their lives.
Five years later, the collapse of the 35W bridge has taught us many lessons about politics, engineering, and human nature. But for me, the most important lesson is that everything can change in an instant.
As we mark this sad anniversary today, let’s remember to live each day to the fullest … to show our love … to be grateful for all that is right in our lives. And let’s not forget the people whose lives will never be the same.
Want to learn more? Watch the Star Tribune’s Emmy-winning interactive presentation, 13 Seconds in August.
Filed under: Minnesota, On this day in history, Photography, Psychology | 5 Comments
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