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Old 11-10-2008, 09:56 AM
 
2,790 posts, read 5,574,897 times
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Today is the 33 anniversary of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald. It is also the reason I am now a military mom. A chance trip to the Valley Camp, a converted lake freighter, now a museum in Sault Ste. Marie convinced my then 7 year-old son that he wanted to join the Coast Guard. There was a display of wreckage from the frieghter anlong with a display about the Coast Guard and the role they played in searching for the Fitz.

When he was little, we also had the chance to attend Mariner's Church several times in Detroit, where they still ring the bell 29 times on the Sunday before November 10. It is quite an inspiring service, as is the one held in the early spring for the blessing of fleet.

I have included a link to a site dedicated to the Edmund Fitzgerald
S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald Online

This is one of the best videos I have come across. It inculdes some old news footage and radio transmissions from what I believe is the Anderson, the ship following the Edmund Fitzgerald into Whitefish Bay, to the Coast Guard.

YouTube - The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald edited by Joseph Fulton

Kind of ironic that tomorrow is Veteren's Day and my son is sailing around in the storms in the Bering Sea because of an event that happened today in history.
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Old 11-10-2008, 10:10 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
36,951 posts, read 17,431,639 times
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That's understandable. I'm a longtime Civil War buff and I know precisely where it started. When I was in 4th grade, I became interested in my sister's 6th grade history book and wound up reading it, finding it far more interesting than the subjects I was being taught. When the book got to the part about the Civil War, they illustrated it with a picture of the engagement between the Monitor and the Virginia (Merrimack) which I found fascinating. What were those strange looking ships? How did they come to be fighting one another? Which one won? (The textbook didn't include any specific information, just the picture and the names of the ships.)

So, I marched my little nine year old behind to the public library and found "The American Heritage Illustrated History of the Civil War" which not only gave me the answers that I was seeking, but was chockablock with absorbing pictures and stories. I was hooked and I've never detoxed.
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Old 11-10-2008, 10:24 AM
 
Location: West Michigan
12,084 posts, read 33,134,961 times
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I have stood in the Vally Camp and looked at the wreckage of "The Fitz." many times (Graduated from the Soo) and have always thought of the Coasties who put it all out there whenever needed. I have seen them jump into raging waters I wouldn't want to take a big boat into. I have sat aboard Coast Guard Cutters, Icebreakers, and Buoy Tenders and talked with the crews who were also my friends. I remember the night the Fitz went down, and the agonizing search and conclusion that HAD to be reached. We may never know for sure what happened on the 10th of November 1975, but we know the outcome. My hats off to the men and women of the Coast Guard. The least understood and orphaned sibling of the other services. But one which anybody who lives by big water respects beyond any doubt.
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Old 11-10-2008, 10:25 AM
 
2,377 posts, read 4,749,798 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MICoastieMom View Post
Today is the 33 anniversary of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald. It is also the reason I am now a military mom. A chance trip to the Valley Camp, a converted lake freighter, now a museum in Sault Ste. Marie convinced my then 7 year-old son that he wanted to join the Coast Guard. There was a display of wreckage from the frieghter anlong with a display about the Coast Guard and the role they played in searching for the Fitz.

When he was little, we also had the chance to attend Mariner's Church several times in Detroit, where they still ring the bell 29 times on the Sunday before November 10. It is quite an inspiring service, as is the one held in the early spring for the blessing of fleet.

I have included a link to a site dedicated to the Edmund Fitzgerald
S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald Online

This is one of the best videos I have come across. It inculdes some old news footage and radio transmissions from what I believe is the Anderson, the ship following the Edmund Fitzgerald into Whitefish Bay, to the Coast Guard.

YouTube - The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald edited by Joseph Fulton

Kind of ironic that tomorrow is Veteren's Day and my son is sailing around in the storms in the Bering Sea because of an event that happened today in history.
Here are the lyrics to the beautiful song by Gordon Lightfoot!!!
The Lyrics to the song "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" (http://home.pacbell.net/chabpyne/lyrics.html - broken link)

Good luck to your son and hope he stays safe and warm
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Old 11-10-2008, 10:42 AM
 
Location: West Michigan
12,084 posts, read 33,134,961 times
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Also lets not forget Captain Bernie Cooper of the Aurthur M. Anderson and his crew who agreed to turn around out of the safety of the Bay behind Whitefish Point and go back into the teeth of the storm to help with the search that evening. That is his voice on the radio discussing the loss of the Fitz on that great video MICoastieMom.
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Old 11-12-2008, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,538,289 times
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If you can find this film

Brauer Productions: Productions: Feature Films: The J.H. Hartzell

It is one of the best historical reenactments Ive ever seen. It was made in 1988 by a local filmmaker in Traverse City, Michigan, at his own expense, using all local talent, and it is staggering in the way it captured the authenticity of a Great Lakes rescue of an old schooner.. The above link is access to a trailer. I've seen the original 1988 film, but I have not seen the new remastered edition.

Last edited by jtur88; 11-12-2008 at 11:16 AM..
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Old 11-13-2008, 02:16 AM
 
630 posts, read 1,632,005 times
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Late Captain Bernie Cooper said the Fitz ran over seven fathom shoals and grounded,he should know as he was a few miles astern and had him on radar,problems really began for Fitz after that.Cooper subsequently took the Aurthur Anderson back out from the safety of Whitefish Bay at the Coast Guards request that night to look for the Fitz,he had every right to look to the safety of his own crew,but opted to turn around and search when it became apparent that no one else was coming.With an underpowered single screw ship steaming into one of the worst storms of all time on Superior,it stands as one of the bravest feats of seamanship in modern times.
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