Tuesday, January 23, 2007

MetroLink Memorial

Atwater Village MetroLink Memorial
Originally uploaded by CD-13.
It was just about two years ago that the residents of Atwater Village and Glendale endured an unimaginable tragedy. A MetroLink train derailed near the Costco on Los Feliz Boulevard, taking 11 lives and injuring more than 100. I joined Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Councilmember Tom LaBonge, Sheriff Lee Baca and others at that spot to commemorate the terrible tragedy and the courageous efforts of that day.

As the simple memorial was revealed and we stood in collective silence, I recalled the heroism of the nearby Costco workers, who rushed to the scene to pull passengers out of the train even as it threatened to fall over with them inside. I remembered the bravery of the Fire Department, whose efforts to extinguish the fire in the engine car saved dozens of lives. I stood once again astounded by the inter-agency coordination, an essential part of the rescue effort that shone in our moment of crisis. And I once again felt the smallest idea of the pain of family members who forever lost loved ones in that instant.

In this moment of horror, we saw the best in ourselves and of each other. May the bravery and heroism of the first responders leave as indelible of a mark upon our city as the tragedy of losing our brothers and sisters that morning.