Minneapolis bridge collapse: The morning after

If you’ve ever walked through a cemetery with a small group, you know the unwritten rules that dominate; speak quietly, don’t laugh and respect the hollowed ground. This is the same feeling I got walking around downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul this morning. Today, the local officials recover bodies and, with such a gruesome scene unfolding, a huge perimeter has been cordoned off by the police stretching upstream and downstream along the river and well into downtown St. Paul and Minneapolis. Public vantage points like five-story parking garages are closed. Every media outlet imaginable is represented, each having their own satellite truck, a reporter with a microphone, a camera on a tripod and a producer on a mobile phone. It was the lead story this morning on the BBC. Students from the University of Minnesota walk around the St. Paul side of the river. Downtown Minneapolis is equally busy. Bicycles zip around. Cars are stacked in traffic. But amidst the tremendous saturation of people, the scene is quiet. Cars don’t honk or boom loud music. The emergency lights flash silently. Even those walking around with friends are speechless. The scene is quiet as people reflect on the obvious: death is inevitable and unpredictable. As onlookers search the cemetery perimeter for the best view, I cannot help but wonder if these souls are looking at a fallen bridge or something more eternal. I came downtown to watch them.

Al Mohler has connected this tragedy to Edwards’s Sinners in the Hands sermon.

John Piper, who lives and works close to the 35W bridge, also published some comments.

Amazing photos from the NYTimes.

posted photos (c) 2007 Tony S. Reinke