In 1883, a creative engineer named John Roebling was inspired by an idea to build a spectacular bridge connecting New York with the Long Island. However bridge building experts throughout the world thought that this was an impossible feat
and told Roebling to forget the idea. It just could not be done. It was not practical. It had never been done before.
Roebling could not ignore the vision
he had in his mind of this bridge. He thought about it all the time and he knew deep in his heart that it could be done. He just had to share the dream with someone else. After much discussion and persuasion he managed to convince his son, Washington, an up-coming engineer, that the bridge, in fact, could be built.
Working together for the first time, the father and son developed concepts of how it could be accomplished and how the obstacles
could be overcome. With great excitement and inspiration, and the headiness
of a wild challenge before them, they hired their crew
and began to build their dream bridge.
The project started well, but when it was only a few months underway, a tragic
accident on the site took the life of John Roebling. Washington was injured and left with a certain amount of brain damage, which resulted in him not being able to walk, talk, or even move.
“We told them so.”
“Crazy men and their crazy dreams.”
“It’s foolish to chase wild visions.”
Everyone had a negative comment to make and felt that the project should be scrapped
since the Roeblings were the only ones who knew how the bridge could be built. In spite of his handicap
, Washington was never discouraged and still had a burning desire to complete the bridge, his mind as sharp as ever.
He tried to inspire and pass on his enthusiasm to some of his friends, but they were too daunted
by the task. As he lay on his bed in hospital, with the sunlight streaming through the windows, a gentle breeze blew the flimsy
white curtains apart and he was able to see the sky and the tops of the trees outside for just a moment.
It seemed that there was a message for him not to give up. Suddenly an idea hit him. All he could do was to move one finger and he decided to make the best use of it. By moving this finger, he slowly developed a code of communication with his wife.
He touched his wife’s arm with that finger, indicating to her that he wanted her to call the engineers again. Then he used the same method of tapping her arm to tell the engineers what to do. It seemed foolish but the project was underway again.
For 13 years Washington tapped out his instructions with his finger on his wife’s arm, until the bridge was finally completed. Today the spectacular Brooklyn Bridge stands in all its glory as a tribute
to the triumph
of one man’s indomitable
spirit and his determination not to be defeated by circumstances. It is also a tribute to the engineers and their team work, and to their faith in a man who was considered mad by half the world. It stands too as a tangible
monument to the love and devotion of his wife who for 13 long years patiently decoded
the messages of her husband and told the engineers what to do.
1. When facing huge obstacles, do you usually choose to persist or to give up?
2. Is it always wiser to persist than to give up?
1. What facts showed the determination of the father and son?
2. What is one of the symbolic meanings of the Brooklyn Bridge?
Finish the following moral of the story with proper words.
Often we face __1__ in our day-to-day life. The Brooklyn Bridge shows us that dreams that seem __2__ can be realized with __3__, no matter what the __4__ are.
How long did this bridge completed ?
A 10 years
B 13 years