People forget not only when it was built but how much was unknown at the time it was built. They forget it was built in an age when materials were brought up to the bridge in a horse and wagon. When rivets were hand thrown. When there was no telephone to signal from the top of the caissons to the interior where the men were working. When they were using black powder inside the caisson. When there were no jack hammers to work with. When derricks, or cranes, were made out of wood. It was horse and buggy days and it was built by hand. The Brooklyn Bridge was really hand made.
The bridge makes one feel better about being alive. It makes you glad you’re a part of the human community. That you’re part of a species that could create such a structure. We are builders. When we see something that we’ve built well, our hats are off. We stand there and say “isn’t that marvelous?”. But isn’t it marvelous that it was built by people, people like you and I? People we would like to be like at least. Brave. Courageous. The tenacity of those people. The confidence. All of those… they sound like platitudes. But they’re truths. They’re simple truths. Some truths needs repeating, generation after generation. And the Brooklyn Bridge continues to repeat truths that we need to remember.
There’s nothing one can say about the Brooklyn Bridge that the Brooklyn Bridge hasn’t already said to us and impressed upon us. So our minds have been affected by it, even when we’re unconscious of it. And that’s our real inheritance. We realize eventually that the scenes and actions of everyday life have a further future. Not in a remote heaven but in the minds of countless people. And these scenes and acts and dreams then transform and permanently become part of the human heritage. Although, we couldn’t single out a single person in a crowd and say “That’s the man that’s been affected by the Brooklyn Bridge!”, millions of us have.