Monday, November 14, 2011

A Dream Comes True on the New Lake Champlain Bridge

On Monday, November 7th, 2001, the new bridge spanning the distance over Lake Champlain between New York and Vermont, was opened. A historic day indeed for the people that were using the temporary ferry service, a more historic day for my 11 year old son. He had set a huge goal for himself, and although he would have to overcome many obstacles and challenges, he achieved it!

During the morning of the opening day, as he was getting ready for school, our son told his mother that he would need to get out of school early. He said that over the last four months, he had been planning on being the very first pedestrian to cross the new bridge! News to us, and wanting him to achieve his goal, we agreed to get him out of school early that day, in hopes that he could, at the very least, be there when the bridge was opened.

He and his mother arrived at the bridge for the big ceremony. Amongst others, dignitaries present were Governor Shumlin of Vermont, Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy of New York, Senator Betty Little of New York, and Assembly Woman Teresa Saward of New York.. The crowd was reported to be around 1,000 people.

Once his mother saw the size of the crowd, she said, “I don’t know if you’ll be able to make it with all of these people here.” My sons response; “Ma, that’s what’s wrong with people these days, they are full of doubt!” “This is my goal, and I’m gonna do it!”, and off he went into the crowd.

My wife told me that it was a long time before the official ribbon was cut. They had to wait until all the dignitaries were done making their speeches. Once it was cut, there seemed to be a lull in the action, that is until a little boy, our little boy, was seen running up the middle of the bridge!

There were shouts of “who’s that kid!” as news reporters scrambled to get a photograph. Our son made a 50 yard dash and realized he was all by himself on the bridge. He turned around, back-peddling, raising his fists into the air like Rocky, and looked at the crowd of people behind him. He did it! He was the first pedestrian across the Lake Champlain Bridge!

We are very proud of him! Not just for his historic accomplishment, but for his determination! His dream was to be the first, and he was! He had set a goal for himself, and against all odds, he did it! He had huge challenges that he’d have to overcome. First, he had to sell us on the idea. Then he had all the competition working towards the same goal; he wasn’t the only one who wanted to be the first! He had a thousand people that he needed to get by to put himself in a winning position. He had to ignore the nay-sayers. He had to believe in himself, and in his dream!

Isn’t that a great lesson for us? We all have goals and dreams. We all have huge challenges that we’ll need to overcome. We’ll need to sell our ideas to others in order to gain their cooperation. Our competition will be fierce because they will try to beat us to our goal. We need to ignore the nay-sayers and believe in ourselves, and in our dreams!

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