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Thursday, September 6, 2012

In memory of the Titanic

100 years ago, a ship sank. This ship was said to be un-sinkable. She was the most luxurious ship known. And many people boarded her, 2,340, to be exact. 1,635 of these would never return. And to this day, the world is fascinated with the story of the Titanic.
They are fascinated by the ship that, after repeated warnings that icebergs were in their path, went at almost full speed ahead, running into the iceberg that caused such a disaster. They are fascinated by the story of the men who gave their lives for their wives, children, and other women and children they did not even know. Fascinated by the fact that there would have been time to get all of the passengers off the ship before it rose up in the air and then cracked in two, but most of the lives were lost because of the fact that there were not near enough life boats on the ship to save so many because "the ship would never sink". We are fascinated that the captain would give his life that others might live, while he went down with his ship. That others would refuse to go when loved ones would be left behind. That the band would play while sinking. And that the signal "C.Q.D.", or, "Come quick, danger", would turn to "S.O.S."... "Save our souls."
Our family (especially Mommy and I) has always loved history. I believe we first heard about the Titanic from one of Mr. Doug Phillip's tapes. We later learned more through one of the books that Vision Forum published ("Nothing Can Separate Us: The Story of Nan Harper"), and then through another one of the books they carry, "The Sinking of the Titanic and Great Sea Disasters". (I would recommend both books, also "The Titanic's Last Hero"!) We learned even more, and saw some really neat artifacts, while at our state museum a couple months ago. 
Did you know that the ship would not have sunk if the captain had decided to go straight ahead instead of trying to move to the side? Since he turned, there were not enough air compartments left to keep the ship afloat after the ice tore a hole all across the side instead of just in the front. And if they had just had enough lifeboats, they would have had time to get all the passengers off. But, I think God had a reason for that ship sinking. I know of at least one man who was saved while the Titanic was sinking. And it has become a good example of what pride can do... but also what it means for men to risk their lives for the women and children in their lives.
At the museum they had an iceberg for you to touch. Have you ever touched one? More people died from freezing, or the shock of the cold water, than drowning.
Many passengers were supposed to go on other boats, but, because of delays in their departure, or wanting to ride on a better class boat, they chose the Titanic instead. John Harper himself was suppose to be on another ship.
And many people were going to board the lifeboats, but perished looking for family members, some of whom were already on a lifeboat, or giving their place to "lower class" passengers just because they had young children who needed them.
Our favorite Titanic passengers are John Harper and his daughter, Nan. Little Nan was only six when her preacher Father went to be with the Lord. But even as he was swimming in the frigid water, he was swimming to as many people as he could, sharing with them the gospel. He would not hold onto any of the boards of the ship to help him stay afloat as others did- he would not ruin the chances of rescue for others when he knew that he was ready to face his Master in heaven. One man that he witnessed to while so close to death actually became saved, and lived to tell about the work that Mr. Harper did for his Lord during this trial. While John Harper gave his life-vest to another, some others were making sure that their dogs were put in lifeboats!
A couple months ago, our family took a trip to the Titanic exhibit at our state museum. It isn't too far away, but we make a day of it whenever we go, eating an early lunch on the way there and staying until suppertime :). (It took us about four of those trips to get through the whole museum. Daddy laughs at us all the time, because we have to read everything. Well, what did they write it for?!) When we got to the Titanic exhibit, they handed out "passenger cards" to everybody who went in, you got a card for one of the real passengers, and when you got to the end of the exhibit, you looked on the wall and found out "who" you were, whether "you" lived or died. Ironically, all of us girls lived, while Daddy and Andrew and Peter "died". I always knew they would follow the Lord's commands and that they loved us :).
But what was more interesting was that Daddy's character was- would you believe it?!- John Harper!
As our cards were being handed out, the sweet lady who passed them out was explaining how it worked, and Daddy glanced at his card. As soon as she was done talking, he raised his hand and said "I died."
"You don't know that!"
"Yes, I do."
"How? Are you just saying that because you were a man, or...?"
At this point, Mommy asked who he got, and Daddy announced that it was John Harper.
At this point, the lady behind the counter kind of "got it", and asked if we had researched this particular person. Of course we answered that he was our favorite passenger :).
It was really interesting, seeing how the different cabins would have looked, getting to see things like brushes, combs, make-up (!?), plates, watered out letters, haha, touching icebergs, keeping children away from the cases that would send alarms off if you touched them (amazingly, nobody (in our family :)) touched them while we were there!), and learning so much about it. They had models of the Titanic before and after she cracked, and they had a video of items on the ocean floor from the ship. I also found it kind of entertaining that the music playing went from gay in the first half, which was all about the building of the ship, to the foreboding music that played as you got to the part that actually addressed the disaster. (That is the only room in the museum with music playing, might I add.)
Anyway... You would really have had to go to really experience it. But I thought it was really neat, in a kind of of sad way. I mean, we were looking at things that belonged to the people who died because of the ship this whole thing was about, but...
After we got home that night, of course we had to look up even more about the whole thing. We saw interviews with some of the people who survived. We saw one of Eva Hart, Nan's best friend on the Titanic.
And, of course, the next day (it was too late when we got home that night) we looked up our characters. I think some of the neatest things we found were that Bethi was Abbi's "Mother", and  Andrew was to ship's photographer :). (And the fact that I was about twice Mommy's age, while Tori, true to life, was four years younger than me :).)
 "It is amazing that something so lovely, so incredibly beautiful, 
could be the cause of such a disaster."*

"Even in death there is victory if you have the Fathers love."*
Both quotes taken from "Nothing Can Separate Us: The Story of Nan Harper".
If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea: even there your hand shall lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me." ~Psalms 139: 9-10

"By the breath of God frost is given: and the breadth of the waters is straightened" ~Job 37:10


Bri said...

That may be the record for longest post on my blog, and I've written some long ones, lol!

Aunt Tessa said...

Wow, Bri! I really enjoyed your post. And what a great drawing of the Titanic! You've been busy on your blog lately. It's fun to catch up with what you've been up to.
I really enjoyed my trip to the state museum too. I think that was the best exhibit I've ever been too.

Bri said...

Thank you Aunt Tessa :). It was fun :)!
I know I have... I'm glad you've enjoyed it, because I have enjoyed writing :)!
I think so, too :)!