My third choice is the 100 year remembrance of the sinking of the Titanic in 2012. I am with Lady M; those men who continued to play through the freezing conditions and knowing that they were facing death were true heroes. I salute them, too.
It is 100 years on Sunday morning since the Titanic sank. This was the so-called unsinkable ship; it was a masterpiece for its time, oppulent and luxurious, even for third class or steerage. She left Southampton docks on April 10th 1912, on her maiden voyage, in a blaze of glory destined for New York. On board, 2,200 people from all walks of life. Many of them were emigrating and looking forward, with optimism, to a new and better life in America. And the rest, as the old adage says, is history.
Why is there such an obsession with the doomed ship? It lay on the seabed, a grave for so many, undisturbed until 1985. Since then, salvage operations have brought some items up which are in museums or bought at auctions for 'titanic' amounts. Replicas of the cutlery, crockery and other items have been manufactured, some are actually going down to the Titanic and then coming up to be sold for charity. Letters posted from the liner either at Cherberg or Queenstown, on it's two dockings in France and Ireland prior to setting sail across the Atlantic are considered to be worth huge amounts. Anything, to do with this ship, is big money. Films and documentaries have kept it alive for a century. A liner set off from Southampton on the 10th and is due to be over the wreck on Saturday evening ready for 2.20 a.m on Sunday, the actual time of the sinking for a memorial service.
What actually happened on that fateful night? There are rumours of heroic actions, cowardice, shooting, panic and general chaos. There were insufficient lifeboats for all passengers, after all, this ship was unsinkable and so lifeboats were not essential. The lifeboats were launched with empty places, many more could have been saved if each lifeboat had been full to capacity. One man, attempted to save more lives by moving people into other boats and rowing back in an empty one to pick up people from the sea. Those who survived lived with the memory of that awful night for the rest of their lives, and probably guilt. Why were they spared when others were not?
To my mind, the most heroic people of that night were the eight-man band who played throughout the entire sinking. Of all the conflicting stories, one is constant, and that is, these men set up on the deck and played through those last couple of hours. They were not only professionals but selfless men of courage and valour. They knew their own fate but continued playing until the cruel waters devoured them. Let us also remember, that it was dark and freezing cold; they had hit an iceberg! Despite, those conditions . .. they played on until the very end; their last song, the hymn, Nearer my God, to Thee.
Gentlemen, I salute you.
Thought for the week: Tomorrow is not promised to us.
Wow! Donald and I are feeling really emotional now. We hope this selection has made you pensive.
Until next week... make every moment count.
Love to you all, Sofia xxxxx