Today we remember the 1,512 victims who died in the ice when The Titanic hit the iceberg, 100 years ago on April 15, 1912.
In 1911, Belfast had the largest shipyard in the world and the largest dry dock (pictured above). It makes for no surprise then that the largest ship in the world at that time - The Titanic - was built in Belfast's Fair City.
As I walked around the dry dock today a clanging of metal rang through the chilled April air. Clang. Clang. Clang. That hollow ringing sound of steel hitting steel. As I heard that sound vibrate & bounce around the dry dock, I closed my eyes and thought of the men who nailed rivets into Titanic. The surcers, the carpenters, the drawers, the welders, the painters, the joiners and the others. The thousands of men who worked on that ship. Who took pride in her creation. Who's hearts broke when she sank.
I think of those scared & alone, slipping beneath the ice.
I sang with the Belfast Community Gospel Choir today in Titanic Belfast, an immense interactive museum dedicated to the building of the ship & the men who built her. We sang a gospel version of 'Nearer My God to Thee' in remembrance of those who died. It is the piece of music that was allegedly played as the ship sank.
Titanic Belfast is a funky building. Modern yet majestic in equal measure. From the air it looks like a white star with four points. Each point is the tip of a bow. Four replicas of the bows of the Titanic form the structure of the building. These bows are huge. And the ship itself I heard a guide say would have sat another two times above them. Standing beside the building, I am immediately dwarfed by the huge structure, and I feel it really does give a physical representation, and feeling of what it would have been like to stand by the bow of the ship 100 years ago.
It was a vast vessel.
Standing below the walls of Titanic Belfast made me feel very small & helped to me remember, those that died & those that built the ship.
What are you remembering today?
Phones taken by iPhone
That's it for now...
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