TitanicHistory And Rememberance


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matthew Sims

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Im writing this thread, i guess, partly from a growing concern, a trend that has often repeated itsself in history, and im starting to think it will be the case with Titanic. Lets take a look at some other historical disasters, starting with the Hindenburg. Does anyone take note of the fact there are no ceromonies to mark the event on a yearly basis, or even more disheartening, nothing to remember the victims of that tragic day, many of whom, just like Titanic, died a tragic horrible death that was completely out of their control? I note it with great sadness, for as that day is only some mere 60 years past us now. And when i speak to younger generation people, when asked about Titanic, their view of it seems to go as far as "Oh yea, the ship that sank..So what?"
This is where i start to get extremely troubled. I've read many a threads here that have asked if Titanic will be remembered in years to come, and im starting to wonder now if we are , sadly, sugercoating the truth with unsubstantiated optimism. We are facing a generation, after all, that has been raised on instant gratification. The 'what have you done for me' era is setting in upon us fast. And believe me, no one here would love to be wronger on this subject than i am. But i just dont see the same passion that we all possess here being exhibited by the younger generations. And thats troubling. You can forever argue what exactly is to be learned from this, but i still do firmly believe that there are many lessons to be taught, so many stories that need to be told, so many tales left undiscovered, so many things that show us what humanity can be, even in its darkest hour.

One other aside to this-IF history remembers, then what will be noted as the final fatal cause of this? Will it be Ismays decision to maintain speed, will it be a tactical error on the crews part? What im driving at, is one day when a child 100 years from now opens a schoolbook, and finds Titanic, what will that one sentence that usually accompanies these things say? What will it list as Titanics undoing? And last, i feel like i should apologize for the tone of the post, the sort of negative feel it has, but please realise when i se e people like Allison and Brandon, they give me hope. They are people that genuinely care about learning more and preserving Titanics history. They arer shining beacons for the future of planet. Its just when you see how other kids react, its really troubli
 
Jul 9, 2000
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Well, the cause of the sinking is simple enough. Mismanagement sufficient to lead to a collision with an iceberg, followed by uncontrolled flooding sufficient to overcome bouyancy. The events leading up to it are decidedly more complex, as are the controversies which followed.

You seem to be under the impression that there is a general popular shortsightedness among people in regards to history. If that's the case, then I have to say I share that concern. Mention the Titanic, the Lusitania, Britannic, Morro Castle, Andrea Doria or even something as recent as the Hareld Of Free Enterprise, and I see eyes glaze over from sheer ignorance. The people I mention it too have no idea what I'm talking about unless they heard about it in the movies. This shortsightedness isn't limited to just disasters, but history in general, and it scares the hell out of me.

To paraphrase an old but all too true saying; "Those who forget the mistakes of the past are condemned to repeat them in the future."

The irony is that it isn't difficult to bone up on the subject in general or a particular area in history. The shelves in bookstores and libraries are groaning under the weight of all the books that are out there, and there are over 400+ books on the Titanic alone available for the asking.

The trouble is that if it can't be summed up in a soundbite on the radio or telly, or turned into a popular entertainment, nobody seems to give a damn.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
Dec 12, 1999
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Of course there is a tendency nowadays to forget the past. I saw this coming ages ago, particularly in a history class where I had to correct the teacher on what caused the Reformation! He thought it was because Henry VIII wanted to marry Anne Boleyn! (And he got the order of Henry's wives completely mixed up, but that's another matter...).

We have the more recent example of "Pearl Harbor". A love story and so-called character development were emphasized over historical fact (the trouble with many movies about historical events or figures).

I'm afraid that we are in a long period of decline for the cultivation and understanding of history. This has been a problem in the literary world for ages, and the musical world as well. It's so much easier to be entertained rather than informed nowadays. Some might use the excuse that people are far more busy now than at any other time in the past. Well, that's just about the worst reasoning I've ever heard. Most of us here I'm sure have busy and/or complex lives, and yet is there ever a moment where we don't think about the past, whether the Titanic or some other event or person? It's not time that a person needs to read and understand history, it's the desire. And as the generations pass, that desire occurs in fewer and fewer people. And it's saddening...and frightening...

(I'm probably not making much sense here, I'm writing extempore, and isn't that usually just asking for trouble?)
 
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Kritina, you're making perfect sense IMO. As to the excuse people offer that they are simply too busy, frankly, I find that one rather hard to swallow. People have always been busy, and more so in the past then is generally known or even understood. All that was different were the priorities...like getting the crops in, staying alive in the face of invading hoards or plagues, etc.

Seems to me that with shorter working hours and more leisure time available then ever befor, one can trouble people to open up a history book. Especially when they seem to find time for the movies with no trouble at all.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
Dec 13, 1999
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All, I go along with everything you say here. I feel that the problem stems from the fact that we are becoming a computer literate society and thereby losing our other skills. My wife is a university lecturer and is horrified at the lack of basic education that many of her students have when they start at university. True, they are educated to a good standard in order to pass exams and are up to date with modern technology but woefully lacking in basic worldly knowledge.
A recent survey of their historical knowledge revealed that:

a) WW11 was fought in The Middle East between Russia and China!

b)Hitler's first name was Hiel (yes, I know it's hard to believe!)

c)The American War of Independence was between The Pilgrim Fathers and American citizens.

d)The word "Christianity" is taken from the name of a monk called Brother Christian who lived somewhere in Tibet!

I could go on and on! These are not just United Kingdom students, but from all over the world!

Regards

Geoff
 
Dec 12, 1999
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Oy, I'm going to be sick...

And people wonder why I'm so cynical about this modern world...Geoff has provided more than enough evidence to prove my case!!!!
 
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Geoff, you are really scaring me!
My father lived in San Diego during WW2 and remembers how things were. He gets infuriated when he reads some of my children's history books from school and sees how things have been altered.
shock.gif

Colleen
 

Pat Cook

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For what it's worth, I think there just MAY be reason for some hope here. Consider:

Now we have on-line historical webpages and forums where people, like ourselves, can meet and discuss historical events - no long waiting for letters or documents to arrive, no expensive phone calls, etc. And, from what I understand, these are still growing.

In the past few years, certain historical events are not only remembered but reenacted. Here, in the U S, we have Civil War Reenactors who know their history well and 'relive' the events for spectators, to give them an actual 'feel' of it all.

There are now entire television networks devoted to history, which was unheard of not 15 years ago.

There are school plays and docu-dramas devoted to historical events, in which the students can each take on the role of an actual person.

So, as I said, there may be reason for hope.

Best holiday wishes all 'round',
Cook
 
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matthew Sims

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I thank you all, Micheal, Geoff and Kritina for expressing well thought out ideas and theories. I forgot a recent example of human complancency, and somehow i think its relevent, and ill explain why in a sec.
Last week i was going to purchase my holiday travel ticket, but being it was a Friday, my agent options were somewhat limited. So i mozy down to the nearest agent, and as i do, i pass another business, a deli, that for all the world appeared normal. That is, until i notice the woman laying on the floor, face down, on her stomach, arms spread out like a bird and not moving. Yet people all around are just passing by and purchasing things as if she wasnt there. Well something in me just couldnt let that go. I crossed the street to the nearest payphone, and called 911, and as i informed them of the scene, i explained also that i hoped nothing was wrong, that it was some kind of jokem, but i had to call and let them know in case something was wrong with the woman. The response time they got there in was fantastic, about 45 seconds i would say, and for a busy crowded east coast city, that is nothing short of extrodinary. A few seconds later, the womans sister comes running in, and was purely astonished that nobody did anything. I finally informed her of me being the one to call 911, and she was at a loss for words of how people could stand around, much less walk on by, doing absolutely nothing. If you think she was shocked, you should have been me standing there watching this utterly unbelievable scene. The woman was taken to the nearby university hospital suffering from what i later learned was chest pains
And the point im making is this, its becoming true with the new generations of people, in their minds, that if it doesnt affect them, they could care less about it. And it is becoming ever more so true of history. Its a downright sin, that people do not care to learn from our past, and as Mr Standart rightly points out, we will fall victim to our past again because of complacency. And what exactly does that mean? Well, is it all possible that maybe 2 or 3 generations from now will not care about September 11 2001 because it does not affect thir daily lives? And will that complacency allow another individual hellbent on imposing his or her idea of religion, world power or whatever from taking tha moment of vunerability, and striking us at the core again?
The lessons are many, they are all tobe learned, and God save us if we dont learn from them
 
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Randy Williamson

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I was asking a teenager the other day where the District of Columbia was located.

The answer was "off the coast of South America"

Am I'm worried. Yes.
 

Dave Hudson

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I find it difficult to talk to other people my age (I'm 17) about history simply for the lack of knowledge they have. History is my favorite class and the easiest for me, but many of my peers just go, "I hate this class, when will we ever need to use this kinda stuff?"
Sadly, the history teachers at my school aren't that informed either. They just know what's in their book and that's it. Ironically, it's my creative writing teacher that I have my most in-depth historical conversations with. My history teacher seem uninterested.

David
 
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David, and that is exactly the aweful catch 22. A disinterested teacher makes a disinterested class, and round and round we go. When my daughter was learning about California gold rush history, we took a weeks vacation and drove all the way through Calico, Bishop, Independence, Mammoth, Bodie, Carson City and finally Virginia City. She took her book along and we showed her in person what was slightly explained in the book to which she could see and touch it.
She was almost able to lead the class in discussion when they got to that part in the book, and she could almost remember word for word what we taught her that week. After class she had many students approach her and ask more about what she saw.
Sincerely:
Colleen
 
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matthew Sims

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Colleeen, on this i agree with you whole-heartedly. And someone else made a point before i could earlier in this thread: What seems to be the most sickening aspect of the lack of regard for history amongst the young is, if its not a popular movie or song, then its not worth their time. Being at the age i am, ive lived in a very peaceful era for mankind. My greatest recollections of violence come from when i was about 7, at the 1972 olympics, and more vividly, i remember all too well the Iranian hostage crisis. What really got to me when our fellow Americans were taken hostage earlier this year by the Chinese, amongst them was a female from my hometown. This tiny lady, all 5 foot 1 of her, had more remarkable courage than i could ever have than if i lived 200 years. But i digress. The point im making here, is, sadly, it seems as if violence has to directly impact the young before it ever seems to seep into their consciousness. And that must change. As the world becomes more technically advanced, so do the enimies of freedom. Indeed, it was a sad and telling sign of the times. Having just arrived in Tampa yesterday, i decided to check out the cruise liners, if only to see if could get any kind of feel at all for what it must have felt like to sail on Titanic. I will never get such a chance, not even something close, but this wasnt bad. But i still get the impression that Titanic would make them look like dwarfs in terms of size. But much to my dismay, as i approached to take a look, i saw one of our fine servicemen standing gaurd at the gate, machine gun in hand. While im glad for the presence, im also reminded of a day when life was simpler, and those worries or precautions didnt take precedence. I hope to dear God we learn the lesson here, and never forget..But it seems like so many times, we never d
 

Charmaine Sia

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David,

Same with me here. I'm 14 years old, and I took a subject combination in school that most of my friends think is ridiculous. They don't understand why I choose to take the entire history subject and the cultural part of geography, because what they think is that history is useless and makes them think a lot.

Sadly, it is history that makes us informed about the mistakes and correct decisions that took place in this world. Ironically, the best history lessons I have aren't those which cover the textbook content; rather they are the lessons when my history teacher expounds further on points that are not mentioned within the textbook, which relate more to the real world.

Regards,
Charmaine
 

Dave Hudson

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In my US History II class, we're just about to start the WWI unit (which will of course include the Lusitania). I spoke to my teacher the other day after class and told her that I had a commemorative medal regarding the Lusitania. "It was struck by the Germans and reproduced by the British for propaganda." She looked at me with a weird look and said something like "Oh.... All right. Uh..yeah, bring it in," as she walked away to the teacher's lounge for lunch.

(sigh)

David
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>Groan<<

David, I think you may have found a big part of the problem right in your own school. Not only is the teacher ignorant of some of the nuances of history, she appears to be indifferent as well. A rotten combination that's hardly insirational, and it seems at times to be everywhere.

You and Charmaine just stick to your guns on this and soak up as much as you can. It sounds to me like you both have a leg up not only on your fellow students, but on your teachers as well.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 

Pat Winship

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May 14, 1999
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I am the mother of a thirteen-year-old son. Family TV viewing includes a lot of the History Channel. Mom and Dad know that there are inaccuracies presented there also, so there's a fair amount of discussion about the programs-- as in "well, they said it was like this in the show, but there are other opinions..." I may get him to read The Daughter of Time over Christmas vacation, or sometime soon-- although the author's theories on Richard III are flawed, that little book can instill a healthy skepticism about history as written that sticks for a lifetime. Donald, like some of the other young people who have posted here, is growing up with a serious interest in history. I don't think any of his teachers have been as discouraging as the ones mentioned here, however.

Pat W
 
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matthew Sims

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Pat- I do feel as if you asked 10 random teens about history, not just limited to Titanic, but over the last 100 years, the answers you recieve would simply astound you..And im not sure if it would be good either
 
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matthew Sims

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A post note to this thread. I admit the comparison lines may be weak, but heres another reason i cite for what i feel is a rapid decline on values and peoples reflective values in the modern world..If a Nurses assistant has so little regard for human life to just leave a guy she hit plastered on windshield to die, im starting to wonder: If people (and this scares me: even though it might be a relatively low percentage, its a percentage that is increasing rapidly) have so little regard for human life, i wonder what it says for their reverance of history..God help us all
 

Kyrila Scully

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One of the first acts of a Communist takeover is to eradicate the past. Lenin rewrote Russian history, Stalin went even further. Castro is doing the same, as have the Chinese. I am appalled that my daughter has had only three years of history study in her ten years of education. (I can remember studying history every year throughout my own education.) Imagine my shock when my then fourth-grade daughter was watching the Olympics with me and she asked "Mommy, why do they keep playing that song every time we win a gold medal?" She had never heard the National Anthem in school, something my school days always started with. But schools today have exchanged history with Values Clarification and such history as is taught is changed to appease the "politically correct." I want to regurgitate. It is history that unites us as a nation and makes us strong. When we forget our roots as a family, we give up the struggle to keep family together. Divorce follows. When we forget our roots as a nation, we fall apart. If 9/11 taught us anything, it was that we are still a nation united by the Flag, but in the wake of national tragedy, the PC crowd tries to divide us again. They even suggested that a planned memorial of the three firemen raising the flag be changed to include members of other races, irregardless of the historic fact. History being rewritten through art.
Thank God that at least here in this website we can fight to preserve the truth about one historic event: The Titanic Disaster. I welcome any and all spinoffs to this preservation.

All the best,
Kyrila
 
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