“It is a great profession. There is the fascination of watching the figment of the imagination emerge through the aid of science to a plan on paper. Then it moves to realization in stone, Concrete or metal. Then it brings jobs and homes to men. Then it elevates the standards of living and adds to the comforts of life. That is the Civil Engineer’s high privilege. The great liability of the Civil Engineer compared to men of other professions is that his works are out on the open, where all can see them.
His acts, step by step, are in hard substance. He cannot bury his mistakes in the grave like physicians. He cannot argue them into thin air or blame the judge like the lawyers. He cannot, like the architects, cover his failures with trees and vines. He cannot like the politicians, screen his shortcomings by blaming his opponents and hope that people will forget. The Civil Engineer simply cannot deny that he did it. If his works do not work he is damned forever.
“On the other hand, unlike the doctor, his is not a life among the weak. Unlike the soldier, destruction is not his purpose. Unlike the lawyer, quarrels are not his daily bread. To the Civil Engineer falls the job of clothing the bare bones of science with life comfort and hope. No doubt, as the years go by, the people forget which engineer did it, even if they ever knew. Or some politician put his name on it. Or they credit it to some promoter, who used other people’s money… But the Civil Engineer himself looks back at the unending stream of goodness, which flows from his success with satisfaction that few other professions may know. And the verdict of his fellow professionals is all the accolade he wants.”