There are times that emblazon themselves on the notes of your memory, never to be lost. High noon today we stood over the Kennedy Expressway and poked flowers and balloons into the holes of a rusty chain link fence that also had an American Flag tied to it. We hugged, laughed, cried and waved at our fellow Chicagoans cruising below us at 70 MPH, many of them waving and honking. This morning, we didn’t know each other. This afternoon, we have shared phone numbers and begun a plan. There were four of us.
We were all there because of Veronica Wolski. It was windy and hot, and not the place to be if heights bother you.
There is something about standing in the place where a movement was begun. Don’t ever let them tell you that one person can’t change the world.
One person did. Her name was Veronica Wolski. Today I stood on the place that she’s been standing for years. The People’s Bridge.
There are now other bridges in other towns, over other highways, and in some other countries because of Veronica Wolski.
I saw her standing above the Kennedy Expressway years ago, long before I knew her name. Eventually, I found her on Twitter. We exchanged a few messages and I purchased two shirts from her. I meant to get to that bridge someday…I never did. I am sorry we never met in person.
Yet today I felt her on that bridge. The full import of what it took for her to show up there day after day hit me. It took tenacity, belief in a purpose, fortitude, courage, bravery and independence; it took a deep love for humanity.
No one ever paid Veronica to do this. Yet eventually, it was clear that she was never going to stop.
And so, here we are, surveying what she has left us, wondering what we can do. What we can do is not stop either.
Or, if we haven’t yet begun, get moving.
There are so many bridges all over the world; potential People’s Bridges. It is, after all, we the people who Veronica stood there for. She stood there for all of the people. Perhaps there’s a Pedestrian Bridge somewhere near you?
If you have one, you can hang a message on it. A People’s Bridge sort of message, inspiring sovereignty, hope, freedom and support of the people. You get the idea.
I’ll add the addresses of these bridges to the title of this post, and eventually to a page on the website, if you add them to the comments below.
We need to find each other, hug each other, support each other, love each other. This is why Veronica stood there day after day in rain and heat and wind and snow. She did it for us. So that we would one day stand up for ourselves. I am so very grateful that she did.
Fly high, our beloved Veronica. I am honored to have known you. You’ll never be forgotten. Your light hasn’t been doused completely – we’ll carry it from here.
Godspeed Angel, Godspeed.
With so much love,