Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Wordless Wednesday #10 - Women's Titanic Memorial

This is one of the Titanic Memorials in the Washington, DC area. It looms above Washington Channel on the Potomac adjacent to Ft. McNair in Southwest DC.

The official name for this Memorial is The Women's Titanic Memorial. The Inscription is as follows:

To the brave men who perished in the wreck of the
Titanic, April 15, 1912.
They gave their lives that women
and children might be saved.

Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney (the grandmother and guardian of little Gloria, the fashion designer) won the national commission which was open only to women. The granite memorial is an 18-foot Christ-like figure standing on a six foot pedestal, his arms outstretched representing sacrifice.

Indeed the majority of the 1500 lives that were lost as a result of the sinking of the Titanic, were men, including an estimated ten percent of those who were responsible for the wealth of the United States.

Gertrude Vanderbilt had a very personal connection to this memorial as she had lost many friends aboard the Titanic and three years later she would lose more friends including sadly, a brother, who were sailing aboard the Lusitania.

President and Mrs. Hoover attended the dedication on May 26, 1931, along with the members of the memorial association that spearheaded the fundraising, which included former First Lady Helen Herron Taft.

Each year the members of the Men's Titanic Society take part in a ceremony at the memorial; it was recorded in 2004 for NPR.

I have actually brought groups over to the memorial on the morning of the 15th of April and have seen the wreath and empty champagne bottles at the base of the memorial. Vision Forum also conducts their own observance to acknowledge the noble sacrifice of these men.

Of course, all my groups wonder whether James Cameron had this in mind for the now iconic vision of Jack Dawson as, King of the World, in his movie, Titanic.

The Titanic Memorial in Washington, DC is located at 4th and P Street, SW alongside Fort McNair at Water Front Park. One needs to walk past the Apartment Building to the water or walk along the channel to the end.

Another Tour Marm Titanic-related post concerning the Isidore and Ida Straus and Macy's
Interesting Websites concerning the Titanic:

Butt-Millet Memorial Fountain on the White House Ellipse in Washington, DC, not too far from the National Christmas Tree in President's Park. Here's a better history.

Other Interesting Titanic Memorials in New York
including a photo of the Straus Plaque
Phill Ottwell's Tribute to RMS Titanic and Titanic Memorial Page

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