Of course, the primary purpose for this bridge is not to provide tourism dollars for the local community, or even splendor for the visitor's eye, but rather to provide safe passage over a treacherous channel filled with swift and often dangerous ocean currents flowing in and out of San Francisco Bay.
Sadly, for some, it fulfills yet another purpose as well - one that is not nearly so palatable. Since 1937, when the bridge opened, authorities have recovered more than 1,200 lifeless bodies of people who have jumped to their deaths from the bridge. (Some put the estimates in excess of 1,600 bodies.)
Accordingly, a July 24, 2014 article in USA Today Newspaper by Marco della Cava titled "Foiling Death on Golden Gate Bridge" reveals an interesting, if often unknown, fact about this magnificent structure…
Ever since the Golden Gate Bridge opened in 1937, people have been jumping off it to their deaths, about 1,200 to date. After eight decades of debate, the board of the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District, approved funds last month to a "suicide barrier" - a steel-cable safety net that will run the east and west lengths of the bridge - at a cost of $76 million.
The non-profit Bridge Rail Foundation has one simple goal - to install a safety net on the Golden Gate Bridge and stop the suicides. Paul Muller, a spokesman for the organization, expressed what motivates them to save lives: "It's important to understand the value of the lives lost. Those who jump are often doctors, lawyers, teachers, people who can contribute a great deal to society. Saving them means adding to our community."
Van Morris, Senior Pastor of Calvary Christian Center in Mt. Washington, Kentucky, points out the significance of the last statement in della Cava’s article for National Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, which is to be observed this coming, Sunday, January 17, 2016.
He reminds us that Paul Muller's quote at the end of the article also applies perfectly to the lives of the unborn, especially these two lines: "It's important to understand the value of the lives lost … Saving them means adding to our community."
Would that we had as many safety nets as possible in place to safeguard the value and sanctity of every human life! If you would like to know more about ways to be involved in saving lives, and thereby adding value to our community and our world, please check out the following websites:
Local (East Tennessee): http://knoxvillehope.com/.
State of Tennessee: http://www.tennesseerighttolife.org/.
(Obviously, for those not living in East Tennessee, web searches will quickly allow most anyone, anywhere, to locate similar local ministries in his or her vicinity that affirm life and offer opportunities for involvement to that end.)
National: https://www.lifemattersww.org/Home.aspx and http://erlc.com/life.
SOURCE: Marco della Cava, "Foiling Death on Golden Gate Bridge," USA TODAY (7-24-14), as referenced at “News That Illustrates” for December, 2014, on Christianity Today’s "preaching today" website.
Van Morris can be found at: http://calvarychristiancenter.net/staff-leadership.