|Should New York REALLY rename the George Washington Bridge?
||[Aug. 29th, 2007|10:39 am]
The George Washington Bridge, usually referred to as the GWB, connects New York City, located on Manhattan Island, to the rest of the continental United States. Despite the "B" in GWB referring to the word "Bridge" a large percentage of New Yorkers call it the GWB Bridge.
The letters "GWB" also refer to the current president George W. Bush.
These two facts have collided and caused many people to think that the "GWB" acronym refers to the current president. At first, it was mostly out of town visitors who made the mistake, but now that "W" is in his second term, many New Yorkers have grown up thinking the GWB Bridge is actually the George W Bush Bridge.
Tourist guides have been printed using the "New" name. None of these have, to date, been produced by the state or city of New York, but many four and five star Hotels are using this "New" name. Most signs referring to the bridge use the letters GWB as opposed to the full name, so maps and guides calling it the George W Bush Bridge rarely, if ever cause confusion.
There's even a grassroots movement in New York City and State to officially rename the bridge, or at the very least replace all signs that contains the name "George Washington Bridge" with ones saying "GWB."
Why rename the bridge? Why even make the "Official" name ambiguous enough to let people use wither name? Isn't that disrespectful to George Washington?
The argument has been made that because common usage is already changing the name, making it official would clarify things, simplify and streamline a process that is already taking place.
Removing Washington's name from the bridge would mean there was one less monument to his legacy, but with a state, numerous monuments and even the nation's capital named after him, one solitary bridge would hardly impact his legacy. Besides, isn't the nation itself a testament and monument to George Washington?
George W Bush was president duing the single worst day in New York' City's history, and has been the wartime President dedicated to avenging New York, and ensuring such an attack never again happens on US Soil. Doesn't his contribution to New York merit some recognition?
On the topic of what recognition Gorge W Bush deserves, it's clear that many New Yorkers, particularly the younger generation, are ALREADY giving him that recognition by referring to the bridge with his name.
People prefer a living legend to a dead one, and naming the Bridge after a vibrant, living leader, one whom today's youth remember, will encourage more patriotism and national pride than leaving it named after a man long dead.
Finally, there's the fact that the New York City Roads department seems to tacitly agree. Road signs are being replaced all the time, and New Yorkers have noticed that a LOT of sings that once read "George Washington Bridge" are being replaced with "GWB." Is this practice no more than the cost saving measure that the Road department claims, or is it a subtle not to the desire of many New Yorkers to rename the bridge after George W Bush?
I encourage all New Yorkers to write their city and state government about this matter, and voice support for the renaming of the GWB.
George W Bush has been the defender of New York, and has been the first President since his father to take action against Terrorism. All Presidents get a library, but George W Bush deserves to be recognized by the city and state of New York.