Disasters change us. Whether the one we consider is natural or the result of a series of mistakes or caused by the evil intent of wicked men, we are never the same after they take place. When a disaster is large enough and kills many people at once, we remember it for centuries to come. One such disaster took place long before any of use were born but continues to impact us. The film made about it was one of the largest grossing of all time and its soundtrack made many people wealthy yet the story remains a tragedy. That disaster is the sinking of the ship known as the Titanic and this essay looks at some of the truths that it revealed to the American public.
At the time of its building, no other ship had been as large or technologically advanced. Everyone who worked on the project felt a sense of pride to be a part of it. That pride led them to make outlandish claims about it. Some said that it was impossible to sink or that it was engineering perfection. Unfortunately, perfection is not something that can be attained so easily at all. What they could not have planned for was an iceberg at a time of year when there should not have been many at all right in the middle of their path and a well placed strike which could cause the boat to take on water.
Because this was the first voyage of a very extravagant ship, many of the passengers were wealthy people. As much as their social standing would have given them the first shot at life rafts in certain cases, they may not have even gotten that far in others. Many people who were land owners, minor royalty and even business tycoons lost their lives along with the poor who had been below decks.
Many of the people who died could have been saved if the hubris of the builders had not blinded them to the need for extra life rafts and safety gear. This knowledge has been applied to subsequent vessels thankfully.
A ship that many people’s dreams were placed upon will always be remembered. As amazing as it was the Titanic now rests at the bottom of the sea.
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