Predictable metaphors have filled the air, about how Kennedy built bridges among different groups. (That he also burned bridges in his day has gone largely unremarked.)
A Name Awaiting a Bridge
One comment in particular landed on the ear with a thud. In making the case in his State of the State address for renaming the Triborough, the governor said, “it is only fitting that we honor a leader who did so much to build the New York we love today.”
Oh? And who might that be?
It certainly wasn’t Bobby Kennedy. With total respect for his memory, how can anyone say that he “did so much to build” New York? Nearly his entire public career was shaped elsewhere. He was senator for a mere three and a half years — hardly time enough for the heavy-duty building that Mr. Spitzer suggests.
To Michael Miscione, Manhattan’s borough historian, the proposed new name for the bridge underscores a fundamental weakness in how we go about remembering and honoring our roots. He means this in no way as a political statement or an anti-Kennedy slight.
For Mr. Miscione, the issue is simply this: “Are we going to be leaders or are we going to be followers in our civic memory-making?”