City has cutting response to love locks on bridges

They fell in love, were married on Oct. 2, 2010, and now have a baby daughter, Gaia Selali.

On their wedding day, they searched for the right bridge.

"She says, 'You've got to do this thing,'" Elikem told me. "She said we've got to do a Lithuanian tradition. I carried her across the bridge."

He smiled, remembering how he carried her and what they did.

"Every big city (in Lithuania) has a bridge like that," Agne said. "And on the wedding day, that's where the couples go. You lock your love, then you throw your key in the water and it means you're going to be together forever because nobody will be able to find your key and unlock your love.

"I thought that lock would always be there, but my husband was more skeptical," Agne said. "He thought the city of Chicago would cut if off quickly. But I was walking by the first two years and I was always happy to see it. It took me back to the day of our wedding and I was always happy. It was like our special spot in Chicago. I hope they don't cut it because it means a lot to me."

Sadly, the Emanuel regime is intent on chopping off the young couple's lock of love.

A spokesman from the Chicago Department of Transportation issued a bloodless email response:

"It's nice that people want to remember Chicago as the place they fell in love. Unfortunately, we cannot condone clamping padlocks to bridges, which is a European phenomenon that has occurred in Chicago for a few years now."

So City Hall sends out crews to destroy the locks because — as the spokesman explained — falling locks could cause "serious injury" to boaters below.

Of course, getting splashed by Chicago River water could cause boaters serious illness, infection and disease, but the Rahmfather isn't draining the river, is he?

Elikem and Agne aren't opposed to the mayor. And they cling to hope that City Hall will someday support young lovers.

"Chicago is a wonderful city. We've lived here for seven years," said Elikem. "There's lots of reasons people come here. Imagine one of your bridges in Chicago filled with love. Can you just imagine that?"

Agne hopes the city will reserve at least one bridge for lovers.

"I wish the city would say 'This is the Lover's Bridge and you can do whatever you want,'" she said. "It doesn't have to be downtown. It can be somewhere else."

What would you say to the mayor about your lock of love?

"Don't destroy our love," Agne said.

Again, I won't reveal the name of the bridge, and I hope that TV and other news crews following this story won't reveal it, either.

But we'll be checking Elikem and Agne's lock of love, and checking it often.

It's one way to measure whether City Hall has a heart.

jskass@tribune.com

Twitter @John_Kass

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