The gas station worker looks over his shoulders. To where the Ponte Morandi, one of the most important highway bridges in Genoa, was installed until three years ago. Until it crashed on August 14, 2018. The gas station worker hesitates for a moment, then says bitterly, “The bridge didn’t just collapse. The operators let it collapse.” 43 people died, including his friends.
He is one of many who will never forget this day. The bridge collapse hit a proud coastal city in northern Italy like a heart attack. Warnings were already sent out years ago that the bridge had major flaws. Nothing has been done about it.
A new bridge was built in Genoa over a year ago. It seems that no tragedy happened here at all. The August sun is burning, cicadas are singing from the trees, laundry is hanging to dry on the balconies, traffic is constantly rushing through the workers’ quarters.
‘Loss is still painful’
But many Genoese are still angry. Especially the relatives of the victims. They established their own committee and are still fighting for justice and against oblivion today. Sunday Show meets its boss Eagle Bosetti during a memorial ceremony in Genoa. Bossetti, a lawyer by profession, lost part of her family at the time. Her sister, brother-in-law and their two children.
“It still hurts,” Eagle Posetti says in an interview. Look composed. “Every day I think of my sister and her family. It’s a fight. It is inconceivable that they would die like this.”
The new bridge is impressive, and construction was quick and unbureaucratic. It has been open to traffic for just over a year. “In itself, working here has been excellent,” Bosetti says. “But it’s not our bridge.”
Relatives stayed away from the opening
It is also rude to celebrate the completion of the bridge as a private success. A year earlier, upon opening, then-Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte described the bridge as “a symbol of the new Italy”. However, all relatives of the victims remained far from the opening. They don’t want to know anything about this new Italy.
Bosetti asserts: “The bridge should be safe from the start. Then my sister and her family will survive.” If earlier the resources and money were used for a clean upkeep, you don’t have to be in Genoa these days.
But Posetti is here. She can’t help her. Many know her and are grateful for her work. On a Friday evening, she led a candlelight procession with several hundred people through town. Some cry and some laugh. You know each other, the pain unites. The train stopped near the new bridge. 43 balloons are launched into the night sky. Ambulance sirens go off until the balloons disappear into the dark.
And on Saturday, its actual anniversary, Eagle Posetti once again stands in front of a crowd. In the Shadow of the Great Bridge she remembers the victims and thanks everyone present at her talk. To mourn together, to stand together. The day before, she was able to hold back her tears. Now it no longer works.
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