ShareThis Page
Editorials

Editorial: We can build bridges, tunnels together

| Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018, 9:21 a.m.
The sunrise is reflected off of the Monongahela River under the Smithfield Street Bridge Tuesday, March 22, 2016.
James Knox | Tribune-Review
The sunrise is reflected off of the Monongahela River under the Smithfield Street Bridge Tuesday, March 22, 2016.

The days after Sept. 11, 2001, were days when red and blue were obscured by the black soot and white ash that seemed to silt across the whole country — the cremains of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, the plane in a Pennsylvania field.

In those days, it didn’t matter if you voted for George Bush. You were moved by his words as he stood on the rubble of the towers.

It didn’t matter if your neighbor was a Democrat. You worked side by side with him when your church was collecting donations to help with recovery efforts.

For an all-too-brief time, there were things more important than politics. There was survival. There was the desperate work to find life somewhere in a massive pile of death. There was hope and help and healing. There was reaching not just across the aisle, but over the edge of a cliff to pull each other to safety.

Where did it go?

That’s not just a rhetorical question. If there’s a place marked on a treasure map where it was buried, we have to go find it. We have to dust it off, stand it up straight and bring it into the light, because we need that sense of common purpose now more than ever.

We need to decide that it doesn’t matter who you voted for in 2016. It matters what you are willing to do to help us all move forward today.

It doesn’t matter what your neighbor’s party affiliation is. It matters that you work together at something to improve the lives of your community.

It doesn’t matter what your politics are or what the national organization’s platform tells you is important. Odds are you have a lot more in common with the guy next door than the people nailing those planks together, so let’s stop letting other people decide what matters to us.

We know what the mountains are that we have to overcome. We need more jobs, better jobs, clean water, good schools. We know what the rivers are that divide us. We have to get across economic, class and racial boundaries. But when things really matter, in times of crisis, we get by all of that almost without thinking.

We need to start doing that without waiting for tragedy to bring us together.

Southwestern Pennsylvania is built on bridges and tunnels. We can find a way to get across the rivers and through the mountains to get things done.

And it’s always easier to build a bridge or dig a tunnel if you aren’t doing it alone.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me