True Story of Determination and Persistence !!

This is a real life story of engineer John Roebling building the Brooklyn Bridge in New York, USA back in 1870. The bridge was completed in 1883, after 13 years.

In 1883, a creative engineer named John Roebling was inspired by an idea to build a spectacular bridge connecting New York with the Long Island. However bridge building experts throughout the world thought that this was an impossible feat and told Roebling to forget the idea. It just could not be done. It was not practical.

It had never been done before.

Roebling could not ignore the vision he had in his mind of this bridge. He thought about it all the time and he knew deep in his heart that it could be done. He just had to share the dream with someone else. After much discussion and persuasion he managed to convince his son Washington, an up and coming engineer, that the bridge in fact could be built.

Working together for the first time, the father and son developed concepts of how it could be accomplished and how the obstacles could be overcome. With great excitement and inspiration, and the headiness of a wild challenge before them, they hired their crew and began to build their dream bridge.

The project started well, but when it was only a few months underway a tragic accident on the site took the life of John Roebling. Washington was also injured and left with a certain amount of brain damage, which resulted in him not being able to talk or walk…

“We told them so.” “Crazy men and their crazy dreams.” “It’s foolish to chase wild visions.”

Everyone had a negative comment to make and felt that the project should be scrapped since the Roeblings were the only ones who knew how the bridge could be built.

In spite of his handicap Washington was never discouraged and still had a burning desire to complete the bridge and his mind was still as sharp as ever. He tried to inspire and pass on his enthusiasm to some of his friends, but they were too daunted by the task.

As he lay on his bed in his hospital room, with the sunlight streaming through the windows, a gentle breeze blew the flimsy white curtains apart and he was able to see the sky and the tops of the trees outside for just a moment.

It seemed that there was a message for him not to give up. Suddenly an idea hit him. All he could do was move one finger and he decided to make the best use of it. By moving this, he slowly developed a code of communication with his wife.

He touched his wife’s arm with that finger, indicating to her that he wanted her to call the engineers again. Then he used the same method of tapping her arm to tell the engineers what to do. It seemed foolish but the project was under way again.

For 13 years Washington tapped out his instructions with his finger on his wife’s arm, until the bridge was finally completed. Today the spectacular Brooklyn Bridge stands in all its glory as a tribute to the triumph of one man’s indomitable spirit and his determination not to be defeated by circumstances.

It is also a tribute to the engineers and their team work, and to their faith in a man who was considered mad by half the world. It stands too as a tangible monument to the love and devotion of his wife who for 13 long years patiently decoded the messages of her husband and told the engineers what to do.

Perhaps this is one of the best examples of a never-say-die attitude that overcomes a terrible physical handicap and achieves an impossible goal.

Often when we face obstacles in our day-to-day life, our hurdles seem very small in comparison to what many others have to face. The Brooklyn Bridge shows us that dreams that seem impossible can be realized with determination and persistence, no matter what the odds are.

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  35. PRAKASH H S January 13, 2014 at 6:24 PM #

    well,lesson behind story is imp.Never loose your self confidence if you are sure of result.Trust wife has is noteworty

  36. skybeen October 20, 2012 at 4:30 PM #

    story of struggle but to very very few it may relate bcoz it may not patience to all and one out of thousand husband and wife,could have understand each other so well…..its all admiring

  37. Wasim October 3, 2012 at 1:20 PM #

    Great Moral…
    But, how an individual can do this mega project without government support? i mean, atleast financial support.

    • Ali - Admin October 5, 2012 at 11:17 PM #

      Well, that’s a very good question.
      But I cross-checked it on wikipedia and its said to be a true story !

  38. skybeen September 30, 2012 at 10:46 PM #


  39. Zafar Iqbal September 29, 2012 at 7:44 PM #

    Dear Sara,

    I have noticed that you have “lost” 30,000 subscribers!!!! Your masthead is NOT the same as the figure given in the body of the stories, above their beginning! 110,000 subscribers, NOT 140,000…, as it used to appear.

    But don’t worry, may you have a million subscribers, Insha-Allah!!! Aa-meen.

  40. Zafar Iqbal September 29, 2012 at 7:32 PM #

    Is this really true?????????????????

    Because we have been flooded by such apocryphical stories on the net.

    But all said and done, it is a remarkable story about a father and a son, and the latter’s wife!!!

    However, Dear Sara. Sorry to criticise you, but there seems to be a typographical error in the beginning of your story: the 1883 in the 3rd line shold be 1870!!! Right????

  41. Asad September 29, 2012 at 11:39 AM #

    Till the construction on brooklin bridge its true that both father and son workded together but as far as the tragic accident story, death of father and son losing part of his brain is completely wrong.

  42. Ouerdane A September 27, 2012 at 10:40 PM #

    I am proud of the father and the son; they verify what the frech proverb say: ‘tel père tel fils’.
    Being smart is to go trough with his ideas, because it that makes science and suitable development.

  43. kasmusrob September 26, 2012 at 11:02 PM #

    Very nice. It’s the best example of persistence and devotion.
    Follow it my friends

  44. Habeebi September 26, 2012 at 9:45 PM #

    Is this a true story…!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  45. shakil September 26, 2012 at 4:00 PM #

    Date however at start I think shudv been 1870, not 1883 when it was completed

  46. Ian September 26, 2012 at 11:16 AM #

    I appreciate both father and son for there confidence and dedication but at the same time I would really appreciate washington’s wife Emily.
    Under her husband’s guidance, Emily studied higher mathematics, the calculations of catenary curves, the strengths of materials, bridge specifications, and the intricacies of cable construction. She spent 13 years assisting Washington Roebling helping to supervise the bridge’s construction.

    Great Wife……………… Salute……….