Those of you that follow this blog know my enthusiasm for all things Titanic. From my early introduction to the story of the famed liner by my mother, to visiting exhibitions in the United Kingdom and United States, to a visit to the Titanic Historical Society last year, I’m always on the lookout for a new experience about the ship and that time in history.
A few months ago I learned about “Titanic: The Exhibition” in New York City. Although I’ve attended traveling exhibitions before, this one was presented differently. From striking visuals to unique artifacts and touching stories of passengers and crew that I never knew; this exhibition took visitors from the concept of “Olympic Class Ships” to the aftermath of the sinking and discovery of the wreck. A well-presented audio guide takes visitors on the journey.
What I particularly enjoyed was the recreation of the Titanic’s interior, from a first-class hallway, the wireless room along with a first and third class cabin, each was meticulously recreated bringing the visitor back in time to experience it for themselves. Titanic: The Exhibition has extended its tour in New York. If you plan to visit, I highly recommend the VIP ticket. For an extra $10 you receive fast-track entry, complimentary use of the cloakroom along with a souvenir photograph (we also received a booklet).
Following on the theme of ocean liners, I am nearing the end in the novelization of SOS United States. I honestly have thoroughly enjoyed this writing experience. It not only has provided me the opportunity to get closer to the story, but has enabled me to expand it where it needed to go. Yes, it still follows the screenplay, but where I was able to take it while still staying on the original track, I did so. The first draft should be completed in a couple of weeks.
One thing I’m thankful for, and this wasn’t planned, was the recent books I’ve been reading helped with background and terminology. Raven Rock, Area 51 and Surprise, Kill, Vanish, all had elements that have made SOS United States a stronger story. From the continuity of government communications infrastructure to the Gold Codes of the President, to some other details of executive branch operations, the research that has gone into those books, will be properly referenced and thanked in SOS United States.
Speaking of the military and government, when I was in New York City for the Titanic exhibit, I had time to visit the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. For those of us that remember when those terrorist attacks took place, we also remember where we were and what they meant to us. It was a time when we came together as Americans to unite against a stateless foe that needed to be obliterated.
Walking through the memorial brought back such a feeling of dread and sadness for the victims of the tragedy and the devastation it took on our nation. But it also reminded me about the goodness, self-sacrifice and determination to move forward in the face of adversity that makes the United States one of the greatest countries on earth.
During my visit, I heard one of the docents mention that she was in one of the towers on that fateful day. I hesitated to ask her what it was like, but when I did her succinct steady and steadfast account from the moment tragedy struck to the minute she walked back into her apartment that evening, gave all of us that listened the knowledge that the will and strength of the American people is what drives this great nation.
We the People—will never forget.