Grain silos Monumental, immovable, concrete patron saints, Anchors of the horizon Equaled only by the anchors in the depths of the harbor.
Your waters, bearing canoes, tug boats, Navy ships, freighters; Your earth, bearing steel, iron, the sweat of freshly-forged Americans undaunted by a little toil; Your air, bearing industrial dust, grainy grit, the warm aroma of cereal, at once hard work and home.
Your winters are legendary, the stuff of nationwide shuddering —- “My God! What kind of people would live there??” —- The people in whom courses the blood of the builders, the diggers, the sweepers, the welders, the flyers, the fighters, the artists with salt in their veins and dreams in their hearts.
It takes more than lake-effect snow to shake that, more than a layer or two of rust, more than a few paltry Super Bowl defeats.
You’re not a city of apples or shoulders or even angels —- You’re a city of backbone.
You’re a city of calloused feet but lifted chin.
You’re the oldest Turkey Trot in the United States and you’re a toddler delighting in a seagull on the Canalside boardwalk. You’re the Niagara River, the Buffalo wing, the factory, the carousel, the smoke stack, the misty rainbow, the resilience, the belief, the history, the future.