Watching the coverage of the bridge collapse in Minneapolis - it's horrific.
Called a dear friend - she's OK - thank God she does not frequent that route on her evening commutes home.
My family is fine. I work about 5 miles from the collapse and not all of my coworkers have checked in yet. Thanks for asking.
Our thoughts & prayers are with those going through this horrific ordeal.
This might be another situation like our Boston tunnel collapse, shortcuts on safety issues and less than standard concrete and cement.
Another case of re-directing transportation funds to other pork barrel projects. From what I hear, that bridge was deemed to be structurally deficient 2 years ago.
My prayers to those who were injured (or worse yet), killed.
...to ALL affected by this tragedy!
Made it through Minneapolis the day before the bridge went down. We're on our extended vacation in MN and ND. I don't believe we will go through Minneapolis on the way home.
I got off the couch for a change and had a couple days to remember.
I'm sure everyone is newsed out on the bridge collapse by now, but anyway here are some photo galleries and if you look around the Star website they have a lot of the best stories, photos and videos.
And heres my story:
The Red Cross called and I spent Friday and Saturday working the scene as a volunteer. We mainly served drinks, snacks, and meals to the responders. Got a chance to get up close to the wreckage. It's mind boggling. Call it unreal or surreal, it was incredible that more people weren't killed. They had a secure perimeter set up and our job was to go to all these checkpoints with food and drink. Consequently we got very close to the bridge remains. At one point we drove under a portion that was at a 45 degree angle.
Donations from many many business's came in. Target, Cub, Chipotle, Arbys, Starbucks, Caribou, Panera Bread, Famous Daves, Dominos, and many others were dropping stuff off. Even some little old ladies brought in homemade cookies, and a couple chefs from Ruth Chris came by in their fancy formal white cook's uniforms. It warms my heart to see the outpouring of support from the community. More than once and for many reasons my emotions tried to get to me.
On Friday the First Lady came by the Chapter (which is located no more than a block or two from the bridge) and Saturday I actually shook hands with President Bush. He even addressed me by name (name-tag) and thanked me...what a deal... He chatted with about six of us for a good five minutes. A few light moments too, talked about his health etc...Just like a normal conversation with a regular guy. Very informal. They didn't film any of his visit to the Command Center and Red Cross area for security reasons. Guess they don't want the world to see how ready we are for trouble.
He diverted from his tour and came into a room where we were filling some coolers, to the consternation of the Secret Service, because he came in alone with a couple photographers and we hadn't been x-rayed like the others who were greeting him outside. The Red Cross hand-picked the paid employees and a few full time volunteers to meet him as he approached the building. They stashed us peons behind closed doors. The doors had windows and we were peering at him as he came in the hallway. He saw us and whipped open the door and said "You guys can't hide out in here". That's when he came in and was very friendly to us all. Pretty good for a lame duck. Then he went down to talk to some family members. It was especially sad to see a Mom and her two little ones who lost their Dad.
At one time or another I was within a few feet of all kinds of VIP's down there as they stood around chatting. Karl Rove is really a very funny guy, goofball wearing a Twins Cap, showing off his Apple iPhone. All the people who are anybody..... governor, senators, mayor, chiefs, a list of whos-who, would hang around the chapter at one time or another. Had a chance to exchange a few words with a lot of them. An event like this seems to bring people together in a very friendly way.
The Police command center was across the parking lot and there were cops from all over the State. FBI Evidence Team, NTSB, OSHA, Secret Service, Coast Guard, many agencies were represented. Went over there a few times with stuff. Never seen so many cops in one place, and they were all on my side...Ha. A couple times I asked a cop to do something for me and they snapped to and did it. Amazing, but they really like to show they appreciate the Red Cross. Even a group of snipers with their guitar cases came in. Secret service guys were especially friendly, which was unexpected. All in all it was pretty exciting.
They gave me a form to send in to the Whitehouse so I can get copies of photos that were taken when I was standing by the President in our little chit-chat. Should be interesting.
Back to the couch.....
And for your service in a time of need.
I'm sure all those affected appreciate the work volunteers do.
We should all take a moment to thank the volunteers and organizations like the Red Cross. Pray that we may never need their services, and give thanks to those who selfishly give of themselves.
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