Oswald Lawrence’s Speech, December 1908
In December 1908, a few weeks after a devastating fire ravaged the small cities north and south of Steward’s Bay, an assortment of civic leaders, prominent property holders, and ordinary citizens gathered to discuss rebuilding. The lifesaving efforts of superhuman champions—and ordinary people—inspired those gathered to unite the settlements. A year later, Titan City officially formed.
Oswald “Titan” Lawrence, an eccentric industrialist known for his good works, was one of the strongest voices to call for rebuilding and unification. This dramatic speech, addressed to the crowd of citizens assembled where Phoenix Plaza now stands, marked the first mention of the term “Titan City.”
We gather today in the ashes of what was once a thriving metropolis. Of what was once our home. We have all suffered, the highest and lowest, as we saw our city leveled before our eyes. For most of us, this has been the darkest hour of our lives.
But though this may be our darkest hour, this is not the hour of our deaths! My fellow citizens, we are the masters of our fate, the heroes of our own story!
As our city burned around us, we saw heroes rise up. Old and young, rich and poor, man, woman, and child; when all seemed lost, they braved that inferno to save us all. And these were no gods come down from some hoary Olympus. No, these titans are our friends and neighbors, our parents and children, even our beloved spouses! Their courage, power, and imagination, extraordinary though they be, is the same divine spark that burns in all of us. We will rebuild, and their glory will be our inspiration!
I foresee a time, in years to come, when our city will stand as an inspiration. When its shining spires rise from this desolation! When this city of titans will be a beacon of opportunity for the world! My fellow citizens, I am convinced that anyone can make it in this titan city. As we rebuild, we will make that vision a reality!
I can promise you no easy time. We have faced our dark ages, and we will doubtless face them again. The coming winter may be long and cold. But certain as the chill winds howl, know that our faith and our courage will weather the storm. The year now turns toward its darkest, but I vow to you, the sun will return, and with its light, bring joy. And we, the survivors of this city, will bring forth that glorious sunrise.
Like the phoenix of old, we shall arise from these ashes, to become greater still! Our final chapter is not yet written. The book of our lives has not closed. I say to you, this is not the end!
Today, our story BEGINS!