The I-35W bridge is being rebuilt.

Jennifer Simonson, Star Tribune

35W bridge: Awful moment remembered

  • Article by: MARY LYNN SMITH
  • Star Tribune
  • July 16, 2008 - 8:48 AM

At 6:05 p.m. on Aug. 1, silence will fall along the Mississippi River in Minneapolis.

And those standing along the river's banks will remember that at that moment one year ago, the Interstate 35W bridge collapsed into the Mississippi River, killing 13 people and injuring hundreds of others.

A prayer service on Aug. 1 at the Basilica of St. Mary followed by an outdoor memorial service at Gold Medal Park on the Mississippi River will mark the first anniversary of the bridge collapse.

"It was one of the worst days that I will ever be part of that ironically showed the very best of what we can be,'' Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak said. "Tragedy tests what people are made of, and when this unthinkable catastrophe happened in the middle of our city, people ran to help instead of running away."

The victims of the collapse and their families suffered "far greater consequences than any one us could imagine,'' Rybak said.

But the suffering reverberated through the community.

"All of us did in some way did go through this, even if it was just seeing it on television or knowing someone who could have been there," he said. "This community suffered together. We were tested together. We succeeded together."

Rybak and Gov. Tim Pawlenty on Tuesday announced plans to remember the victims and honor the rescue workers.

An interfaith prayer and memorial service will begin at 11 a.m. at the basilica. At 4:30 p.m., a memorial ceremony at Gold Medal Park at 2nd Street and 10th Avenue S. will feature a variety of artists. At 5:30 p.m., a public procession to the Stone Arch Bridge will end with a moment of silence. A procession will end at a viewing area on West River Parkway. The service will end with bells ringing throughout the state.

Mary Lynn Smith • 612-673-4788

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