naming the new Tappan Zee bridge

Old Feb 5th, 2014, 05:01 PM
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Well, fifty years after the tragedy seems a bit . . . protracted, I guess. Also senseless and confusing for out-of-towners.
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Old Feb 5th, 2014, 08:25 PM
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But naming the bridge for him is the most powerful way to reach the greatest number of people for years to come.

In truth, most people aren't going to care. They're certainly not going to care about details.

How many people who fly though New York's LaGuardia or Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson or Austin's Bergstrom or Boston's Logan or St. Louis's Lambert airport know who they are named for—or care? Maybe some locals do, and maybe that's all that matters. But even if people know who the honoree is, how much do they know (or want to know) about that person's life?

There's a bridge where I grew up that is "officially' named after someone—and I can't even think of that person's name right now. Everybody calls it by the name of the body of water it crosses. And for all the times I've seen the little sign with the person's name on it at the entrance to the bridge, I have never bothered to look up who that person actually was, or why the bridge was named after him. And this is a major bridge in the area.

There's another bridge in the area that is named after a local politician—I actually met him as a child, and I know why the bridge was named for him. The bridge does get called by his name in conversation, but the truth is I rarely stop to think about who he was or his accomplishments when I hear the bridge named. And I imagine people born after he died give even less thought to who he was—he's just a name on a bridge.

So, while the gesture of having the bridge named for Peter Seeger might be nice, I wouldn't count on it advancing people's awareness of who he was or what he considered important, especially over the long term.
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Old Feb 5th, 2014, 10:11 PM
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You are right. Who now remembers what a great man West 57th Street was.

And I say, we might as well destroy all of Pete's records as well.

You we should always cater to the thoughtless.
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