|Stan Musial Bridge|
Dickson died before the Eads Bridge was completed, but I imagine that Murdoch attended the opening ceremonies on July 4, 1874. The bridge was first christened by Mrs. Julius Walsh, daughter of Charles Dickson, followed by a 100 gun salute and multiple speeches. Then the parade began. Police, politicians and key citizens were the first to cross, followed by a line of people that reportedly stretched for 13 miles! There were marching bands and fireworks to mark the celebration as well.
In attending the opening of the new Mississippi bridge 140 years later, I had a similar experience to Murdoch. There were police and politicians, key citizens and a parade. Nine speeches were given, and while it was a little chilly to just stand and listen, I have to say that each speech was fairly short, mostly non-political, and predominantly inspirational. After walking across the bridge to Illinois, we stayed and enjoyed the parade. There were no marching bands, but the military units, classic cars and the Clydesdale horses more than made up for the lack of music. And I appreciated the fact that the parade was far from being 13 miles long.
A walk on the bridge of the future gave me an opportunity to take a glimpse into the past. And that will hopefully make a nice addition to my John Murdoch story.