The sky was jeweled with stars and a thin wind blew cold straight from the ice fields, an impending warning of what was to come.
Titanic stole through the vast darkness of the Atlantic, a majestic prize among the liners of its day.
Music was playing from within; the sound of lilting voices could be heard from the crow’s nest where men kept watch.
To the passenger of the Titanic, the night was nothing more than pure bliss, a chain of happy memories they could share with those back home. But on that night, the perfect memory became swiftly overwhelmed by disaster.
Instead of just another magical evening, April 15 became a night of horror they would never forget or in some cases would never live through.
The world’s fascination with the RMS Titanic has endured 100 years. April 15 will mark the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.
Although it has been a century since the luxury liner sank in the depths of the Atlantic Ocean, there continues to be a thirst for information regarding the facts and myths that shrouds the terrible maritime disaster.
This year, a ship will sail from Southampton, carrying the relatives of some of the more than 1,500 people who died on the ship.
This ship will place itself on the exact spot where and when the Titanic met her doom 100 years earlier. The MS Balmoral has 1,309 passengers on board, and organizers are attempting to recreate the onboard experience of the titanic.
Re-creations include dishes from the original cruise with a banquet to be held on April 13 made up entirely of meals served on the Titanic, as well as a band playing music from the era.
The Titanic began her maiden voyage from Southampton, England, and would make its way to New York City.
Her passengers included some of the wealthiest people in world, along with thousands of immigrants.
The ship was designed to be the last word in comfort and luxury, with an on-board gymnasium, swimming pool, libraries, high-class restaurants and opulent cabins.
She was the picture-perfect cruise liner.
However, due to outdated maritime safety regulations, she carried only enough lifeboats for 1,178 people—a third of her total passengers and crew capacity.
But this was never thought to be a problem; she was deemed ‘unsinkable’ by her architects, and therefore there was no need for lifeboats cluttering up the picturesque deck of first class.
At 11:40 p.m. a lookout spotted an iceberg immediately ahead of Titanic and alerted the bridge.
The goal was to steer around the obstacle in their path.
The order was to put the engines in reverse, but it was too late; the starboard side of the Titanic struck the iceberg, creating a series of holes below the waterline.
Many of the watertight compartments had been breached. Water was filling fast; it soon became clear that the ship was doomed.
She could not survive more than four compartments being flooded.
The Titanic began sinking, bow first, with water rushing from compartment to compartment as the angle of the ship in the water became steeper and steeper.
The crew was ill prepared for such a disaster. Calls for women and children to make their way into the lifeboats were made and soon frenzy took place on the decks.
There was only so much time to get as many people as they could into the lifeboats, and the lifeboats were being filled only halfway, cutting the amount of people who would survive almost in half.
Many of the third-class passengers drowned as water surged through the ship like a dam breaking loose. The stern remained afloat for a few minutes, rising to a nearly vertical angle with hundreds of people clinging to it with locked, tenacious passengers.
At 2:20 a.m. it sank, breaking loose from the bow section.
The remaining passengers and crew were plunged into lethally cold water that measured at about minus two Celsius.
For those in the water, it was not an easy death. After only minutes of being in the water, those people who had not been pulled down by the force of the ship would have died of hypothermia or cardiac arrest.
Only 13 of the passengers were helped into lifeboats despite the fact that there was room enough for at least 500 more occupants.
Around 4 a.m. RMS Carpathia arrived on the scene in response to Titanic’s earlier distress calls.
Only 710 people survived the disaster and were conveyed by Carpathia to New York, while 1,517 people lost their lives.
Now 100 years later, Titanic fever has spread like wildfire.
James Cameron, Filmmaker and historian, is prepared to present his “Titanic, the Final Word with James Cameron” on the NatGeo Channel.
Also “Titanic” the movie has become 3D. The sinking of the Titanic defines man-made disasters and human errors; it has become a benchmark to remind us that we are human and that nothing is perfect.
Over the years, the Titanic has become a media event rather than a memorial, but to the relatives and loved ones of the passengers who lost their lives that night; it is a constant reminder that a part of their history was lost.
The Titanic became worldwide media frenzy after the Carpathia docked in New York Harbor.
Passengers who survived found themselves thrust into the spotlight. Children who lost their parents were hunted down for their stories.
Blame was placed, lies were told, and yet no one stopped to properly mourn those who died.
Their lost lives should have taught people a lesson and caused them to think about the future.
Instead it was just another headline. No matter how many artifacts are discovered from its wreckage, no matter how many movies, documentaries or news stories are told, nothing will ever capture the shock, emotional trauma, and fear that the people aboard that ship experienced.
This anniversary should serve as a reminder that we should never forget that these were real human lives that were lost and not some famous actors on the big screen.
It should remind us that despite how hard we try to be perfect, mistakes are always imminent.