The Bell Tolls for the Edmund Fitzgerald

Commemoration of Shipwreck Held at Split Rock

TWO HARBORS, Minn.- On November 10th, 43 years ago, a tragedy rocked Lake Superior.

The SS Edmund Fitzgerald ship sank, taking all 29 crew members with it.

On Saturday that ship, and those lives lost, were honored at Split Rock Lighthouse.

One might expect this event to be one full of sorrow, and grief.

But 43 years later, a mix of curiosity and wonder mixes with the sadness, as the tale of the Edmund Fitzgerald sinks into new, and old minds alike.

“Thomas Benson, Boiler,” a crew member reads, as a bell rings.

29 times the bell tolls. Honoring 29 lives.

It’s become a typical scene every November 10th.

The Split Rock Lighthouse and visitors center abuzz with around 2000 people here to see the lighthouse lit up, gathered to look back on that fateful day.

“We’ve been doing it for 33 years,” said Historic Site Manager, Lee Radzak. “I’m surprised at the resonance it has with people that keep coming to this event. People always remember it, and of course Gordon Lightfoot’s song, ‘Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.'”

The Edmund Fitzgerald left Superior for Detroit, Michigan at noon.

It was rocked by storms, taking on damage and water throughout the afternoon.

Another ship reportedly followed the Fitzergald to help it recieve radar guidance, but that ship lost contact with it as well.

At 7pm, the last communication from the ship’s captain: “we’re holding our own,” marked the last anyone heard from or saw the men onboard.

Its disappearance remains a mystery.

At Split Rock, a new generation hears the ship’s tale.

“It’s a really interesting story,” said young Anna Kuronen, attending the ceremony with her family.

“It was cool to be a part of something like this, especially for such a special event.”

As the light from the lighthouse spins, searching for its long lost friend, it is not alone.

Throngs of people are here yearning to get a look inside, to get a taste, of all the sorrow it has seen.

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