remembering the fitz

Thirty-four years ago yesterday The SS Edmund Fitzgerald sank just outside of Whitefish Bay in Lake Superior.  I was in the 4th Grade at the time, and nearly every kid in class brought in a newspaper article about the tragedy for their currents events homework. I can clearly remember in years previous that ship passing through the narrow channels in front of my grandfather's hotel.  He would hand me the binoculars, and the air horn, and I would run out on the front lawn, stare at its massive red hull and salute it with one long followed by two short blasts of the horn.  It would return my salute with earth shaking blasts of its own.

The loss of the ship, and every one of its twenty-nine crew members was a very sad day for us here in the Great Lakes region.


Gordon Lightfoot's song commemorating the tragedy became a huge hit shortly after, and remains to this day a local anthem to the brave men that sail these trecherous lakes.

I'll post a link to the song in a blog.

juan1966 juan1966
46-50, M
7 Responses Nov 11, 2009

Did you see the TV show, I think it was on the History channel, about the recovery of the bell from the Edmund Fitzgerald and the replacement of it on the sunken vessel with a memorial bell bearing the names of the lost men? It was very moving. Here's a link to an article about it :

And I hear there's a ferry!

There is? Who'd a thunk it?

There is such a thing as the interstate doncha know.

Lake Michagan IS the Bermuda Triangle. For me it seems almost impossible to cross.

The Great Lakes are a graveyard of shipwrecks. It has been said (not sure if it is true) that the Great Lakes have far more unexplained disappearences than does the Bermuda Triangle.<br />
<br />
I've endless great memeories from that time of life!

This is a sad memory indeed. Although I've heard the song so many times I didn't know the truth behind it. And I had no idea the lakes could be so dangerous. I love your memory of saluting the ship outside your Grandfather's hotel and wonder what other memories you have from those times.:)