100 Years ago the Titanic hit an iceberg that caused the deaths of over 1,500 lives. While many seem to only remember the event through the romantic movie, friends and family of victims, survivors, and rescuers continue to honour the event, and with it being the 100th anniversary many history lovers found themselves in a small Graveyard in the North End of Halifax, myself included. People often forget that Halifax played a large role in the tragedy. While the survivors were being moved to New York, the deceased were pulled from the icy Atlantic waters by the crew of the MacKay-Bennett and laid to rest in the port city of Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The Fairview Cemetery
There had been countless Titanic events throughout the week in Nova Scotia, and while I wasn’t able to catch them all I wanted to make sure I visited the Titanic memorial at the Fairview Cemetery. I ended up biking to the grounds, and watched as people from all walks of life quietly walked through the rows of graves. I have to admit I was concerned that people would be a bit “off” at these graves. Many of these people likely didn’t have a clue who any of these Titanic victims were, and I was no different. I feared that young girls would be crying out for Jack Dawson, the fictional character from James Cameron’s film. But it was nothing like that.
The Unknown Child
Young and old stared at the stones, reading the inscriptions to themselves. I watched as a young girl laid out flowers in front of the tomb of the youngest victim. I small boy who had remained unknown until 2011, 19-month-old Sidney Goodwin. He was an English child whose entire family died in the sinking. I watched an elderly couple hold eachother as the women shed a tear, perhaps for the unknown child, perhaps due to the heart warming sentiment of the youth of today honouring a child who never got to lead a full life.
The Brave Crew of the Titanic
I walked the rows and read the names, the numbers, the dates. Many of the men who perished in this tragedy were my age. Men in their young twenties. I couldn’t help but shake my head in disbelief, I asked myself “Would I have been so brave had I been put in that situation?“. I decided it was time to leave, and found one last stone stone to photograph. The stone was that of Everett Edward Elliot. It poetically read “Each man stood at his post while all the weaker ones went by, and showed once more to all the world how Englishmen should die.”