Sunday, April 15, 2012

100 Years Ago: Women and children first

With Carpathia racing to the rescue, but knowing that the couldn’t get there in time it was time to start putting passengers into the lifeboats.  Knowing that there weren’t enough boats on board the crew was ordered to take woman and children first.  Even then many of the boats were lowered half empty.  Few aboard understood that Titanic was really sinking.  Only after the last boats were away did the really begin to comprehend the magnitude of the situation.

There were many hero’s this night.  And many not so much.

When Isadore Strauss was offered a place in the boats he refused.  His wife refused to leave his side.  They perished together.

John Jacob Astor, the Bill Gates of his day, calmly put his young wife Madeline in a life boat then stepped back.  He told her they would meet up in New York.  His body was found by one of the search and recovery ships some time later.

As one of the last boats was about to be lowered J. Bruce Ismay stepped aboard knowing full well that there were still over 1,500 souls aboard.  He survived – but may have wished he hadn’t.  He was hounded by the press and called a coward by almost everyone.

Captain Smith went down with his ship.

The ship itself in the hundred years since has become legend.  There were still survivors alive when the wreck was discovered in 1988.  There were even a few hardy souls who were aboard that night when the most recent movie about their tragic adventure premiered in 1997.  Sadly they are all gone now.  There is no one left alive who was aboard the Titanic this night 100 years ago.

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