by Peter Koontz
For those of you who haven't heard, the Lake Street Bridge has been destroyed. Its structure is still standing, but its symbolic essence was obliterated in a quiet ceremony held in late April. The year 1989 should have been a celebratory one for the Bridge and its followers, for this is the centennial of the Bridge's existence. Instead we only have the arid taste of destruction in our mouths as the Incredible Icon is slowly dismantled. The opposition attempts to obscure the blame by hiding behind the faceless shield of bureaucracy. The enemy certainly realized the power of the Bridge, and knew that only one entity could ensure its destruction. This entity, the mindless bureaucracy, which sees things only as they are, not as they should be, held a special power over the Lake Street Bridge: the power of the creator.
But what power does the Bridge have, and why would anyone want to destroy it? If you are asking this question, I can see that you have never contemplated its existence. Now the Bridge is swarmed by cranes and power shovels, but in the pleasant times of yesterday, one could obtain a splendid view from the Minneapolis Rowing Club lawn. The towering arches that carried hope to the people. The reinforcement work which symbolized the web of life; achieving a single goal. The wooden planks which hearkened back to simpler, happier days. The Conquest of crossing the river itself, indenting itself to the ingenuity of man before God. Its gracious signs of age that signified its infinite wisdom. All of the glory of the Lake Street Bridge could be realized, of only we would actually stop and look. But now, it is too late. The Bridge has succumbed to an enemy that cannot be seen, cannot be fought.
I encourage all, those who knew the Bridge, and especially those who didn't, to bring themselves to the site and look. The only thing there is an empty structure that held the essence of a Bridge. The structure is still mostly intact, and can be driven over. Clues of its enormity can be seen readily. The gradual dismantlement of the complex support system, unrivaled in its elegance, signifies the slow collapse of neighborhood life and values. The toppling of hundreds of trees could only be a metaphor for man's injustice to nature. The forthcoming closing to traffic symbolizes the loss of communication, and on a greater scale, the decline in family values. It is apparent that the happy times of the bridge's construction are no more. The mood of our time is of worry and pain.
The destruction of the Lake Street Bridge is just one of the many apocalyptic signs around us. I warn you! For those of you who do not see the danger, beware! But those who understand, do not become callous and pessimistic, instead have hope: hope that eventually mankind will rescue itself from its current declination.