What You Can't See from the Golden Gate Bridge


Millions of people cross the Golden Gate Bridge every year without realizing that the shoreline below it is a park.

Tom and his handy camera will lay it all out for you.


Waves find their way from the Pacific into the Golden Gate, creating the only surfing spot in the bay.


At the narrowest part of the Golden Gate, directly below the bridge...

...stands a fort, built of brick and once filled with cannons, to defend the bay during the Civil War.


The fort never fired a shot in anger.

Now that it's a museum, it's even more placid.


What a relief, being able to enter a Civil War-era building without being ambushed by an employee dressed in period costume.


The cannons were removed in 1900, although soldiers worked and trained here until the end of World War 2.


Some of the old furnishings are still there, like the gunpowder barrels.


During World War 2, the fort's soldiers guarded an anti-submarine net which stretched across the Golden Gate.


Soldiers could serve fearlessly at Fort Point, because of their confidence in this brick shell, that the thick walls would protect them. But just 25 years after this fort was completed, a new invention rendered it obsolete; the rifled bores of new cannons could demolish this building with ease. In the blink of an eye, the soldiers' security ended, so the fort was abandoned.

This is an ancient story. We can imagine the sudden terror of a veteran soldier when his prized bronze sword first met a new, iron blade. We can imagine the panic of a wooden battleship's crew, as the revolving turret of the Hunley easily tracked their escape maneuvers. These days we know the shock of seeing terrorists use passenger jets as weapons.

Although we use the word "terrorists," America was never terrified by the actions of bin Laden's extremists. We were horrified, and that is very different. Terror fades, while horror delivers stamina, the enduring sense that the horror cannot be permitted—which in the long run is immensely powerful. It is the iron of Ogún, rather than the cannon's rifled bore.


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© 2002 NuMoon Creations