The 100th anniversary of the sinking of the passenger liner Titanic was remembered in ceremonies across the world yesterday, with descendants of the victims leading the tributes.
Events marking the disaster started in Halifax, the Canadian port city from where ships sailed to retrieve bodies from the icy Atlantic waters and where 150 of the Titanic’s 1,514 victims are buried.
The centenary, however, is a global event with artists, scientists and museums engaged in months-long preparations for commemorations in Britain, Canada, Northern Ireland and the US.
One century after the Titanic’s fatal encounter with an iceberg, more than 1,700 passengers on two cruise ships — the MS Balmoral from Southampton in the UK and the Azamara Journey from New York — plan to meet at the site where the Titanic went down to witness a partial reenactment.
The Azamara Journey was already on the site of the tragedy, emulating a distress call that was sent out by the Titanic.
Passengers planned to throw wreaths into the sea at 2:20am, the time that the ship sank, and where the drama unfolded about 800km southeast of Halifax.
Some participants in the memorial events — many of them history buffs or descendants of passengers of the doomed voyage — came with personal stories about how the Titanic touched their lives.
Titanic 100 Society executive director Ken Pinto told Halifax’s Chronicle Herald daily that memorial events held over the weekend would cement Halifax and Canada’s place in the Titanic’s fabled story.
“The idea is not to have a carnival, but an honorable marking of the tragic event,” he said.