As this weekend draws near I would like to discuss my feelings towards the Titanic Memorial Cruise as opinions are greatly divided on the topic.
This weekend is not meant to be sad, this is a celebration that the Titanic launched. This weekend we remember that for a brief time she was the Queen of the Ocean. Although the MS Balmoral will be leaving one day early from Southampton (believe it or not the Balmoral can’t match the speed of the Titanic!) this weekend we are re-enacting the joy, hopes, and dreams that travelled along with the ship. Even though the Titanic did not make it to her final destination, this weekend is about the joy and beauty of seeing her off. A celebration of what she was before the disaster if you will.
I’m honored to have been invited to take part in marking this momentous occasion. There have been so many arguments made against this Cruise and so I can only hope that your worries will be assuaged after reading what my position on the purpose of the Titanic Memorial Cruise is.
Last week I had a very long conversation with a lady from the White Star Line and we discussed the effects the sinking of the Titanic had on the community of Southampton.
During our conversation the topic of the mixed feelings from the residents of Southampton was raised. Some believe the Memorial Cruise is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the life of those who built and sailed with the Titanic. Others think that the cruise is glorifying the death of those who perished.
I disagree. This Cruise is a final requiescat in pace to those who were unable to say goodbye to the family they would never know. Relatives of survivors who grew up listening to the heartbreaking stories their families faced onboard will finally have the chance to say farewell. In their hearts they will carry the memory of the survivors; their loved ones, who were never given the chance to say goodbye to the ones they lost during that perilous night one hundred years ago.
The time for sadness will be when the Balmoral reaches the wreckage and the bells toll around 2:20 am to mark the 100th year to the moment the Titanic slipped into the pages of history. The tears will freely flow into the ocean below in a cathartic release of that terrible, heart wrenching pain we’ve all felt for the past century. It is my firm belief that by finally being able to mark this moment over the final resting place of the RMS Titanic the ghosts of the past will be laid to rest.
I only wish I could see the Balmoral sail into New York. That city has been waiting 100 years for this moment and what a bittersweet arrival it will be.
This year the Balmoral will carry with her the memory of over 1,500 souls that were never able to sail into New York, many bound for a new life full of dreams and opportunities. This year they will finally reach their destination, and what a glorious sight that will be.
I know that when the MS Balmoral sets sail on Sunday I will be crying. To be able to witness this great event is bittersweet because this will never happen again. Even if our future generations pause to mark another century, there will be nothing left. Not only will this Cruise be the first and last of it’s kind, but this will also be the end for the Titanic and after 100 years she deserves her rest don’t you think?
The Ocean always keeps what she claims. It has been this way since the beginning of time and it will remain so until the sun fades. Even if mankind were to selfishly try to fight for claim over the Titanic, the ocean will never let her go. In a few years she will devour the Titanic completely. Nothing will be left but faint pieces of a magnificent past. Memories tenderly cherished and passed down.
This last final farewell is the epilogue for the story of the RMS Titanic. She was created, she sailed, she sank, she is remembered, and finally, she will leave us.