164 The Edmund Fitzgerald
They forgot something. The bell in
So, here are the rest of them:
9… 10… 11… 12… 13… 14… 15… 16… 17… 18… 19… 20… 21… 22… 23… 24… 25… 26 … 27… 28… 29.
There. That’s better.
Each November 10, the people at the Mariner’s Church ring the bell 29 times, once for each of the men who died in the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald ore carrier on
Not this year. They rang it eight times, once for each of the
She was carrying 26,000 tons of iron ore from
But there’s one thing they’re not fighting about anymore. The bodies get to stay in the water. It’s what most of the families wanted; what the men would have wanted.
The cause? Some say the hatches let the storm in – that they weren’t watertight.
The Fitzgerald was 25 years old in 1975. That is not old for a
Now, more than 30 years later, you can go down there and look at the faces. The water’s cold all year. There’s no salt. There are no predators big enough to feed on the remains. They’re mostly naked. They’re wrinkled as can be. But they’re pretty well preserved. You’d know what you were looking at if you looked at them.
The Mariner’s Church has been around since 1842. It’s old grey-brown stones have seen many a shipwreck. But the Fitz is “its” wreck, and November 10th is its moment. This church is the keeper, a landmark building shepherding a nautical-mark event.
Capt. Ernest McSorley and the 28 others on board deserve better.
I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.
(c) 2006 WJR