Sunday, 15 April 2012

Titanic Commemorations

Last night, one hundred years ago, the Titanic hit an iceberg at 11.40pm. Over two and a half hours later, at 2.20am, she sank four hundred miles off the coast of Newfoundland. Over 1,500 people died, and just over 700 were saved. Over five hundred of the dead came from Southampton.

The Balmoral sailed from Southampton on the 10th to commemorate the fatal voyage, and held a remembrance service in the early hours:

Researching the Titanic has been truly heartbreaking, there are so many stories of men asking their wives and children to be brave and get into the lifeboats, others who chose to remain on the ship with their loved ones, dying together. Though, the news coverage always seems to divide people into classes of "heroism" and "cowardice"- of course there were acts of extraordinary bravery, but to label others as 'cowards' is a little harsh. When confronted by death, survival instinct is bound to kick in, and I don't think people should be blamed for that. Besides, they have probably dealt with survivors guilt their entire lives, let's not add to it.

What is interesting however, is that the Titanic is remembered on such a scale - why are people so fascinated by it? Was it the discovery of the wreck in 1985? Was it James Cameron's film in 1997? That the last survivors were slowly disappearing? Or is it the stories of the people? There is no definitive answer, just as long as Titanic is kept in our memory, especially in Southampton.

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