Remembering Titanic

As we all know, 100 years ago today the Titanic struck an iceberg.  By the following morning over 1,500 people were dead.

The horror of the event, it seems to me, has largely faded by the passing of time.  Does anyone really stop and reflect on the fear and suffering experienced by the doomed passengers and crew?  Or the sadness of the families who lost loved ones in the disaster?

When someone says Titanic, most people probably think of the movie with Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.  Most people would rather think of a love scene between Jack & Rose than 1,500 soon-Costa Concordia - Giglio Italyto-be-dead people gasping for air in dark, deep and icy waters.   

At this very moment there are several cruise ships, on Titanic memorial cruises, heading to the spot where the cruise ship sank. There are many accounts of smiling passengers in period costumes similar to what the first class passengers were wearing in 1912, with women in corsets and men in top hats.  Lots of excited passengers enjoying their cruises; fine meals, cocktails, dancing, and laughter.

This seems rather macabre to me. When they find themselves at the watery grave tonight where 1,500 souls perished, will they be remembering the real event or celebrating the Titanic movie, now in 3-D?

Carol Burnett said "death plus time equals comedy."  And Angela Carter said "comedy is tragedy which happens to others."  Both thoughts, I suppose, are true.  One of my Dad's favorite saying when things went wrong was "other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?"  Yes, its funny as long as it's not your family and it happened long ago.

But the Titanic is not the last cruise ship where someone died.  Over the past 100 years, there have been hundreds of maritime incidents which have accounted for the deaths of thousands of passengers and crew members.  Many fires, collisions, and sinkings - not to mention over-boards, violence and crimes - have occurred during cruises since the Titanic sank. 

When I think of the Titanic, my mind goes to the tragedies suffered by hundreds of people whose have lost loved ones during cruises in the last decade or so.

In 1998, Amy Bradley disappeared during a Royal Caribbean cruise.  In 2004, Merrian Carver disappeared during a Celebrity cruise and Ashley Barnett died under mysterious circumstances on a Carnival cruise ship.  In 2005, George Smith disappeared during his honeymoon cruise.  In 2006 Richard Liffridge died in a fire on a Princess cruise. And last year, Disney youth counselor Rebecca Coriam disappeared from the Disney Wonder.  In the last 10 years, there have been over 170 people who have disappeared from cruise ships.  The families of the missing and dead are living through their own Titanic horror every day.  

This morning I clicked on the web cam on Giglio Porto, showing the Costa Concordia on its side, under dark angry clouds. There is nothing funny about this latest disaster.  A 100 years from now, will there be memorial cruises to Giglio? Will the cruise passengers be dancing and laughing then? 

Titanic Memorial Cruise Delayed By High Winds & Medical Emergency

Is nature trying to tell us something?

First high winds and rough weather delayed the "Titanic Memorial Cruise" as 30 foot winds forced the Balmoral cruise ship to turn around with a little over 1,300 passengers aboard.  Now news sources area reporting that a medical emergency involving a passenger has complicated matters.  The cruise is detouring closer to shore in order for a helicopter from the Irish Coast Guard to medevac the passenger to safety.

Titanic Memorial CruiseThe cruise set sail from southern England on Sunday and stopped in Cobh, Ireland  on a cruise to retrace the Titanic voyage.  On Monday, the cruise was delayed because of foul weather. 

Once the sick passenger airlifted off the ship for medical treatment, the cruise will continue to New York as scheduled.

Two special memorial services are to take place over the weekend (1) midnight April 14, when the Titanic hit the iceberg, and (2) early April 15, when the cruise ship sank.

I am wondering if the Balmoral has a web cam or whether other cruise ships or vessels will be streaming video live?

 

Photo credit:  ibiblio.org

Memorial Services Held for Nina Nilssen

Nina Nilssen - DonationsThe Taos News reports that memorial services were held this weekend for Nina Nilssen.

The newspaper states that "donations will provide resources for the Q’eros people and other indigenous communities to establish Vilcanota, the world’s first spiritual national park, to protect their land, traditions and the sacred beauty of the high Andes — a place of great joy for Nina Nilssen."

Donations should be made to the Taos Community Foundation in Ms. Nilssen’s honor.

Please mail your donations to:

Taos Community Foundation, P.O. Box 1925 Taos NM 87571.

 

 

 

 

Credits:

Photo of Ms. Nilssen         Nilssen family via Rivera Family