Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Leonard P. Zakim (Freedom) Bridge


The Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge was dedicated on October 4, 2002. I was fortunate to be in attendance on the bridge that day. Dignitaries spoke, clergymen prayed, Bruce Springsteen sang Thunder Road and The Children's Bridge Festival Chorus performed a medley of Together as One/We Shall Overcome," "Down by the Riverside," and "Hine Ma Tov" all in Lenny’s memory.

Lenny was a civil and human rights leader and worked hard during his too short life to bring people of all faiths together. The dedication was a celebration of his life and the beauty of the bridge stands as a reminder to build bridges and relationships where we didn't think they were possible.

I am reminded of people who do good things today, when there are so many reminders of evil. But this quote from CNN.com still has me in tears:

PARADISE, Pennsylvania (CNN) -- A grieving grandfather told young relatives not to hate the gunman who killed five girls in an Amish schoolhouse massacre, a pastor said on Wednesday.

"As we were standing next to the body of this 13-year-old girl, the grandfather was tutoring the young boys, he was making a point, just saying to the family, 'We must not think evil of this man,'" the Rev. Robert Schenck told CNN.
Who has that inner kindness? Who has that inner strength and faith? I'm not going to blather - here's a bunch of pix from the dedication of a bridge to a good man.

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The Middlesex Fife & Drum Corps. You could only access the dedication if you were invited and were delivered to the proceedings by golf cart. It's kind of cool to look at the old highway (since demolished) crammed up against the Boston Garden.

Governor Jane Swift spoke about Lenny at the dedication. She spoke of his tireless work to bring people together and believing in people's better nature.

A short film about Lenny and his work was shown, it was a tremendous tribute that had people laughing and crying and clapping.
Bruce Springsteen sang the most heart-rending version of "Thunder Road" dedicated to Lenny. He told a story about meeting Lenny and about how he gushed about loving that song.

Joyce Zakim holds her son's hand during Bruce Springsteen's set.

At the end of the dedication the shofar was blown.

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