Titanic sinking marked 100 years onAgence France-Presse . Halifax
Church bells pierced the night here early Sunday to mark the 100th anniversary of the tragic sinking of the iconic passenger liner Titanic, which is remembered in ceremonies across the world, 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 Titanic’s 1,514 victims are buried.
The centenary, however, turned out to be a global event with artists, scientists and museums engaged in commemorations in Britain, Canada, Northern Ireland and the United States.
Late Saturday, participants in the memorial ceremonies gathered at the Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax and marched in a procession downtown.
Marchers carried battery-powered candles and followed a horse-drawn carriage bearing a casket, stopping at some Titanic landmarks.
Warren Ervine, a geological engineer whose uncle Albert at the age of 18 was the youngest member of the Titanic crew, was among the participants.
‘My father was always very sad,’ Ervine recalled. ‘Like people coming back from the war, they did not want to talk about it. I did not even know he was a crew member until 10 years ago. I looked for him on the passenger list.’
The procession ended at City Hall for memorial performances, with more than 20 local musicians and a Canadian Forces band participating.
Nova Scotia’s Rhapsody Quintet played a selection of pieces reminiscent of music performed aboard the ship by the Titanic orchestra a century ago.
And just after midnight, at 12:27 am, Halifax fell silent to observe a moment of silence to mark the time when the last wireless telegraph message from the Titanic was received in Nova Scotia.
Afterward, bells rang from four churches where the ceremonies for the dead were held in 1912. The sky was lit up by distress flares fired into the air.
Meanwhile at sea, two cruise ships with more than 1,700 passengers on board — the MS Balmoral from Southampton and the Azamara Journey from New York City — approached each other at the site where the Titanic went down to witness a partial re-enactment.
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