Do you remember what you were doing 31 years ago on November 11th?? I remember I was a VERY YOUNG person and I was in the kitchen cooking breakfast. I had the radio on and the news story of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald was being broadcast. Even then, I had such a yearning to live in “da U.P.” and loved Lake Superior and watching the freighters. Just thinking about that morning brings tears to my eyes.
This November 10th marks the 31st anniversary of the most famous Great Lakes Shipwrecks. Most of you have probably heard of the Edmund Fitzgerald and many of you probably have seen the documentary on the Discovery Channel.
If any of you would be coming in this direction and would be here Friday, you could attend the Memorial Service at the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum. It starts at 7 p.m. There will be guest speakers, musicians and the Call to the Last Watch Ceremony where the recovered Edmund Fitzgerald’s bell is rung once for each of the 29 crew and a 30th time for all mariners lost on the Great Lakes. Seating IS limited.
There are approximately 10,000 shipwrecks lying within the Great Lakes. The Lakes have claimed untold thousands of lives during the previous 300 years. Most likely the wreck of the Fitz will not be the last shipwreck to claim lives. If you ever get the chance, check out a book from your library about the Great Lake Shipwrecks or hopefully you can catch a documentary on TV.
This Service is a very emotional experience. I would be surprised that you would come away with a dry eye.
(The Great Lakes Shipwreck museum, which is about 40 minutes from us, is the trustee of the Fitzergerald’s original bell which was recovered from the wreck in 1995 at the request of the surviving family members. Also at the request of the family members, no more dives will be allowed to the Fitz; after all it is their loved one’s last resting place)
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