Saturday, 14 April 2012


I've had anniversaries on my mind this week, probably because both my wedding anniversary and birthday have occurred within the last eight days.  They seem to whiz round with ever increasing rapidity but I'm sure you find the same.

Another more momentous anniversary falls tomorrow.  The Titanic sank one hundred years ago.  Even a century after the event the resonance of that shocking disaster still touches people like myself who were born many years after it and weren't concerned personally in any way.  But the facts of it are so huge in scale and still difficult to comprehend.  Titanic was the pride of its shipping line, the biggest and best of its kind, the most luxurious and invincible.  And yet five days after starting its maiden voyage it lay at the bottom of the ocean, a testament to the fallibility and frailty of humanity.

Of the 2 223 on board who woke that morning, only 710 would see another dawn.  Among them were men, women and children; crew members and passengers; rich and poor.  1 517 deaths in the space of a few hours.  It is a sobering thought even one hundred years on.

I recently watched A Night to Remember, the 1958 British film of the disaster, and can heartily recommend it not only as a faithful representation but also as a gripping piece of filmmaking. 

We should remember this anniversary, if only to remind ourselves that however grand the human race thinks it is, nature always holds the trump card. 

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