Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Aftermath

The DemiGoddesses and I tried to walk over to the bridge after the Twins game on Friday night, but were met with police tape for blocks and blocks. The closest we could get was well upriver, below the Guthrie Theater, and all we could see from that vantage point above the locks was the very north end of the wreckage. The top of that slab that sticks straight up was illuminated by the floodlights, a glimpse of twisted green girders that was enough to me cry.

I can't understand why there hasn't been a place designated for us to go, a place where we can see what happened to our city. All of us who live here have had our sense of place violently altered. Even the people who weren't directly impacted need to grieve. The Stone Arch Bridge has opened, at least, but the police tape still blocks off a huge radius around the site.

I didn't know until it was happening that our fine president was scheduled visit Minneapolis on Sunday morning. I wish I were a person who could simply accept without question another person’s attempt at kindness, but W's statements from the site just made me angry. I wanted to march down there and tell him to go back to Washington DC, because we are not interested in his brand of bad-grammar, staged-sympathy bullsh*t here. He said he was speaking "on behalf of the American people," but I'm pretty sure the American people can speak for themselves, thanks.

For example, there was this, a letter that arrived, along with a big box packed full of Moon Pies, pork rinds and other goodies, in the Minneapolis Star Tribune newsroom. It seems to me a much more genuine gesture, a gift from strangers in one part of the country to strangers in another part of the country, who suddenly find they have something in common:

“To Star Tribune Journalists:

A few days after the Virginia Tech shootings, a large box arrived in our newsroom. Inside was a note and lots of stress-relieving junk food like you'll find in this box. The note was from Joe Haight, managing editor of
The Oklahoman of Oklahoma City. Joe wrote that similar boxes arrived in his newsroom after the McVeigh bombings. He recalled what that gesture meant to his staff, which had been worn down to a nub covering the catastrophic community event.

We were so moved that we vowed to pass it on when we next sensed a newsroom could use a little pick-me-up. So please consider this a journalistic chain letter of sorts, one that you'll pass on when the next bulletin breaks in a newsroom somewhere in America.

Enjoy the snacks. Sorry we couldn't send beer (company policy, ya know). And most of all, take care of yourselves.

The
Roanoke Times Newsroom”

1 comment:

Amy said...

I love that story about the newsroom. Food is the universal comfort.