Sunday, 15 April 2012
Titanic 100th Anniversary
Since little L has been so interested in Titanic and I am a lover of history, we couldn't pass up the chance to go. It was such an interesting experience this past week, learning about who the 3rd class passengers were, where they came from, what they would have worn and how terribly they suffered when the ship sank. What a strange age the Edwardian era was, divided by class, united by the idea that man could now conquer nature. Or so they thought.
The evening was, well, interesting. We arrived at 5:30 and didn't end up eating until 8:00, we were so hungry I wasn't sure if we should even stay. I know we were 3rd class and all, but really, even they ate. In fact they ate better than they would have ever eaten on any ship prior to this one. So when we were the LAST table to go to get our food and then found out that they had ran out of food, I was a bit choked. The worst part was that the wait staff were bringing out seconds for the 1st class people. I have to hand it to my kid, he was such a sport the whole night that we ended up in delirious laughter at one point. By the time we did get food it really wasn't anything to write home about. I had one slice of meat and burnt potatoes. That was it. The little one had some noodles and rice. But it was ok, we were so hungry that we didn't really care at that point.
After the dinner, there was dancing, a live string quartet, of course and then the play.
I have to say, it was very sobering watching this with little L. When all the lifeboats had left and the remaining passengers walked off into the darkness, into their graves, I was so moved. How horrible to die with your children, knowing there was nothing that could be done to save them. I had read about a woman, Margaret Rice who was travelling to America with her 5 children. Neither she, nor her children survived and only her body was found, 5 days after the sinking, identifiable only by a bottle of pills in her pocket.
This evening, this commemoration, felt exactly like that, a night to remember those who so tragically lost their lives. So many people throughout the world still hold a deep fascination with Titanic including myself and little L. There are so many things about the ship and its events that capture our imaginations, but at the end of all the beautiful clothes and craftsmanship of the ship, all that is left are the heart wrenching stories of innocent people dying such gruesome deaths, all because of a system that was upheld by class distinction and a desire to make a ship look less crowded.
Little L had a great time, as did I. Thankfully he had a little friend there to keep his mind off how hungry we were. And at the end of it all, we shared something really special with each other, a once in a lifetime opportunity to commemorate the Titanic and all who lost their lives.