One hundred years ago today the Titanic set out on her maiden voyage amid much fanfare. So much has been written and produced about that fateful voyage that anything I try to write sounds like so much cliché. But I have been thinking about the trips my own ancestors took as they immigrated to America. They were full of hopes and dreams as they boarded other ships, on other dates, setting sail across that same ocean into new lives. That fate could have so easily been their fate. Any one of them. But, it wasn’t. And because of that I am here now.
Today as we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the sailing of the Titanic I invite you to discover more about the details of the passengers and crew. I imagine that as you learn about those people, who they were, where they came from, what they went through, you just might get a glimpse into what some of your own family experienced.
I have come to know that family history is both personal and universal. The things we endure, while filtered through our own unique perspective, are not really unique at all. We are all born, we live, we love, we work, we die. Taking the time to know and understand the experiences of others often helps us understand our own experiences, and those of our ancestors, better.
That is one of the reasons I take the time to study more about the history of the time and place my ancestors lived. I learn about the things they experienced, witnessed, endured. I look into the news they read, the politics they discussed, the religions they embraced. I feel I know them better when I can start to see the world as they saw it – whether it was 72 years ago or 100. And that makes me feel a little bit like a voyager setting sail into the unknown.