The Golden Gate Bridge celebrated its 75-year anniversary this Memorial Day weekend on Sunday, May 27, with dance, song, and nighttime fireworks.
A bright orange beacon for immigrants and a proud symbol of the city’s heritage, the Golden Gate Bridge was completed on May 27, 1937 and has served as an icon of both the city and the United States.
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Considered a modern “Wonder of the World” by the American Society of Civil Engineers, this Sunday the bridge was celebrated with Irish pipe music, sailing, face painting, classic automobiles from the 30’s, and fireworks from both below and on the bridge.
Tens of thousands of tourists and San Francisco natives walked or biked across the span of the world’s most iconic bridge throughout the day, while visiting the local heritage museum booths and events.
The festivities were well organized by the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, with hundreds of volunteers and local police guiding traffic across the busy throughway.
The Golden Gate Bridge is a symbol of hope for the millions of immigrants who traveled past it as they entered the United States. It serves as the western shore equivalent of New York’s Statue of Liberty.
The Golden Gate Bridge is also a symbol of remembrance. With Memorial Day weekend in their minds, attendees reflect on the hardship that was endured by the construction workers during the bridge’s creation. In addition, the Bridge Rail Foundation set up a memorial stand displaying the now empty shoes of those who have committed suicide off the bridge, over 1,500 in total, as a solemn reminder of the past so we can better cherish our present.
Photographers and tourists set up chairs and sun umbrella’s hours before fireworks were set to go off so they could capture the beauty of the bridge and this moment in time. When the event was over, a photographer said, “Wow. That was worth it.”
In many ways this expression captures both the flair of the spectacle and the sacrifice of all those who made it possible over the last 75 years.
With hope and jubilation in their hearts the people of San Francisco start the next 75 with a bang.
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