It is an excellent account of the day. As you said the only spoilers were the camera crew interviewing people in cars and of course, Titanic people with sinking Titanic lapel pins taking pictures of the coffin and seeking out reporters.
Thank you for such a lovely written piece. Miss Asplund's passing has been on my mind since I heard the news. The first lines of Whittier's stanza resonated so clearly:
"I long for household voices gone,
For vanished smiles I long..."
A beautiful treatment. I’m glad ET was represented and that we can now, in a sense, share in the service through this account. The symbolism the minister provided couldn’t have been more apt or moving.
I was left wondering if I knew who it was who said they were thinking about flying up to Massachusetts, from South Carolina, for Miss Asplund's funeral. You, Michael, and Phil were the first people I thought of. I did read where Phil chose not to head up there.
I can only wonder who it could have been; possibly someone who read about Miss Asplund being a Titanic survivor, and who is not a member of this Board, or any of the Lists.
Thank you for all the kind comments and email.I felt very aware, throughout the service, that around the world, many people were turning their thoughts and prayers to Worcester, or would have wished to have paid personal respects but could not for various reasons. There were some who thought, I am sure, as they had never met her, they should not attend. As for that, how many countless thousands file past the funeral biers of presidents, kings, celebrities,and other luminaries who never met the person, but somehow felt a need to make this final effort? Most present were neighbors and friends, family and co-workers, I had in my lifetime only the pleasure and privilege of a couple hours' visit with Miss Lillian, and a few who attended had never met her- yet we were all one in mind, heart and spirit as we assembled together to honor and remember her remarkable life -and that must surely be a good thing. I hope people who did know her will at some point in the future, share some memories.
I'm personally rather hoping that someone who knew her might write a short biography of her life as a book or maybe a website. I believe that she did want quite a lot of what happened to her to remain with her since she tended to turn down offers for interviews with the press, but I also think that her story should be told, at least in part, to the world.
I checked Miss Asplund's name on www.findagrave.com , and found 11 entries for her. Not 11 virtual flowers, but 11 different entries. They had the same information to a greater or lesser degree, and the same three pictures: one as a child, one as a young woman and one of a group of Titanic survivors. The name of the cemetery differed.
Miss Asplund was listed among the 'non-famous' dead. I suppose she would have preferred that, but IMO she had a greater claim to fame than some of the 'famous' dead. She was the last eye-witness survivor of a world famous tragedy that is still mediaworthy after 94 years.
Somebody can say to me if in a the photo of the group of survivors in whom Millvina Dean taken from life-guard appears in center finds Lillian Asplund?
Of this photo I recognize a: (down) Michel Navratil, Millvina Dean, Eva Hart. Behind Michel Navratil this Ruth Becker? , Behind Eva Hart this Eleaonor Shuman and Millvina Dean this Marjorie Newell Robb. At heart there are two men of who one is Frank Aks. Somebody can say to me if I am in an error and somebody can say to me that the rest? Thank you very much!
Looking at that picture, the other people I can think of would be Bernice Sandstrom and Louise Kink Pope.
Personally, as much as like to see pictures of the Titanic survivors, I just don't think it belongs on the page honoring Lillian Asplund.
Miss Asplund did not wish to discuss the tragedy, so she would not have participated in any get-togethers or pictures like that one. Just my 2-cents worth.
This was the THS convention at the Copley Plaza, Boston- am trying to remember the year- I think it was 1988, the 25th anniversary of THS. I recall assembling the people for this photo.
Front row, Louise Pope, Eva Hart, Miss Millvina Dean, Beatrice Sandstrom, Michel Navratil
back row (L-R) ?, Eleanor Schuman, Marjorie Robb, Ruth Blanchard, and I believe it is Frank Aks and Bertram Dean standing up behind. I cannot place the first lady second row left. Senior moment. The shot was taken downstairs in the club room in those cosy English pub chairs.
The "mystery" lady was Mrs. Eileen Lenox-Conyngham Schefer. She was aboard the Titanic, but disembarked with her family in Cherbourg. She was 11-years-old in 1912.
Eileen was invited to attend the THS convention. She was a pleasure to speak with, and commented to several attendees that she was grateful, yet surprised that historians would be interested to meet her since she didn't experience the actual tragedy. "I was only aboard the Titanic for a few hours" she was heard to say.
I believe she lived in Virginia at the time she attended the convention in 1988. She passed away in 1993.
Regarding Miss Lillian, I remember Don Lynch saying that both Miss Asplund and Mr. Alden Caldwell had been invited to the convention as well but declined. When I spoke with Miss Asplund by phone in 1989, she related "that my brother Felix would have been interested to attend (the convention), but not me. He was curious about the whole thing because he didn't remember." She did ask about what takes place during these "conventions" and when I explained, she seemed satisfied but couldn't understand why the "Titanic disaster seems to attract so much interest." She was surprised that so many survivors were still living.
Thanks, Mike- I had forgotten. What a wonderful convention that was on so many levels. Both Wilmington, Delaware and Copley Plaza were the two most memorable THS conventions ever, and now that the survivors and their amazing stories and lives which they shared with so many are gone, nothing will ever quite compare.