Sunday, August 24

Stone Arch Bridge, the Guthrie, and Gold Medal Park

I took these photos last year about a week after the 35W bridge went down. I went to the Stone Arch Bridge early on Sunday morning. There were already people there and more were coming, because at that time the 10th Street bridge was still closed and this was the only place you could see the bridge ruins.

There was a solemn air of worship. People conducted themselves with decorum and respect. We were participating in a funeral, and the twisted wreckage of the bridge was the graveyard. It was difficult to see the ruins even from the Stone Arch Bridge, and people did crane to see, but not "rubbernecking." They were bearing witness to a tragedy.

You will see in some of the photos how low the river is. The water level was lowered to aid recovery efforts.

It was a beautiful sunny day, as are many funerals and cemetery visits. The sun relaxed and warmed us. A lot of people started on the bridge and then walked around to Gold Medal Park, Mill City Ruins, and the Guthrie, enjoying the river and the beautiful day. Death, especially random and senseless death, reminds us to be grateful to be living. At the top of the gentle green hill in Gold Medal Park, reached by a path spiraling to the top, was the the spontaneous memorial to those who died when the bridge collapsed, filled with flowers, pictures, signs, and notes.

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