Pope Francis Sends Message To People Of Genoa Year After Morandi Bridge Collapse

Pope Francis Sends Message to People of Genoa Year After Morandi Bridge Collapse

ROME (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 13th August, 2019) Pope Francis addressed a special message to the residents of Genoa on Tuesday commemorating the tragic anniversary of the Morandi Bridge collapse, and urged them to not lose hope and remember that they were not alone.

"Almost a year has passed since the collapse of the Morandi bridge, which killed 43 people ... families who left or returned from their holidays, men and women who were traveling for work ... After a great tragedy that has wounded your families and your city you have been able to react, get up, look ahead. Do not lose hope, do not let it be stolen. Continue to stand by those who have been most affected," the Pope said in the message published by the Genoese newspaper Il Secolo XIX and translated by Vatican news.

The collapsed viaduct, designed by and named after engineer Morandi, was commissioned in September 1967 and became one of the symbols of modern Genoa. On August 14, a span of the bridge collapsed from a height of about 100 meters (328 feet), killing over 40 people. More than 600 residents lost homes that were located in the danger zone around the bridge.

"I want to tell you that I have not forgotten you, that I have prayed and pray for the victims, for their families, for the wounded, for the displaced, for all of you, for Genoa.

In the face of events of this kind, the pain for the losses suffered is piercing and not easy to alleviate, as is the feeling of not resigning oneself in the face of a disaster that could have been avoided," Pope Francis said.

He called the collapse "a catastrophe that could have been avoided."

"I have no answers, because after these tragedies we have to cry, remain silent, question ourselves on the reason for the fragility of what we build, and above all we have to pray," the Catholic leader remarked.

The Pope urged Genoa residents to prevent this tragic event from destroying the ties existing in their community and remember the most important milestones in the city's history.

"I always think of the port when I think of Genoa. I think of the place from where my father departed. I think of the daily toil, the stubborn will and hopes of the Genoese," he wrote.

Official mourning events in memory of the victims of the tragedy will be held on Wednesday. Top Italian officials are expected to be in attendance.

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