Remembering The SS Edmund Fitzgerald
36 years ago this ship went down. When I used to work in Baton Rouge they told me, don’t ever tell them where you are from, they will call you yankee and not want to listen. I announced on the radio I am from Duluth, Minnesota and my phone went wild with fact checking and wanting me to explain stories and play the song and tell them my memories. I did and my ratings went up. I learned two things that day, always be yourself on the radio, and never listen to a consultant.
I loved the song and was a ship kid. I used to be able to tell you which ships were owned by certain companies and everything. The Fitz took the fun out of it for me, but turned me on to ship wrecks. I never thought when a ship sunk there were men and women that lost their lives.
Here are some memorials for today:
There have been many memorials in the past commemorating the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald. From books to plays to television shows to a top ten song, the Edmund Fitzgerald has been memorialized many times over the last three decades.
Bell Ringing Ceremonies – 2011
Mariners’ Church and Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum This year: November 13, 11am (Mariners’ Church Service), and November 10, 7pm (Shipwreck Museum)
Every year, these two places hold ceremonies for family and friends of the lost crewmen of the Edmund Fitzgerald. At the end of each service, families and/or friends (or designated dignitaries) ring the bell at the front of the room and chapel when the name of their loved one is called. Both services are very moving, and a 30th ring is always tolled for all sailors lost in the six thousand shipwrecks of the Great Lakes. The ceremony at Mariners’ Church by Reverend Richard Ingalls was the first ever commemoration to the men, and is mentioned in the song. The day after the wreck, the Reverend prayed for the twenty-nine men’s families and rang the church bell twenty-nine times, as mentioned in Lightfoot’s song.
Other November 10, 2011 Edmund Fitzgerald Memorial Services
On November 10 “Lost Mariners Remembrance” takes place at the Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle. A candlelight vigil begins at 6:00 pm, with a wreath laying at 7:00 pm.
Also on November 10, a memorial service is planned near the Mariners Memorial Lighthouse at Belanger Park, off Belanger Park Drive and Marion in River Rouge, Michigan. This memorial service will take place from 6pm-8pm. Several speakers will give memories of the ship, including people who helped construct it and relatives of some of the crewmen. For more information: www.ssedmundfitzgerald.com.