Mariners’ Church of Detroit bells toll for sailors lost at sea

On Sunday the bells rang at the Mariner’s Church of Detroit for the 30,000 lives lost at sea, in shipwrecks on the Great Lakes, and service members who have sacrificed their lives.

The Great Lake Memorial Service’s annual memorial service in honor of the sailors took place days after the 46th anniversary of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald, one of the most famous shipwrecks on the Great Lakes.

The story of the doomed 729-foot ore porter was kept alive with Gordon Lightfoot’s 1976 song “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” which tells the story of 29 men who died on Lake Superior near Whitefish Point lost their lives on the Upper Peninsula on November 10, 1975 after the ship sank in 80 miles per hour winds and 25 feet of waves.

Lightfoot said he was saddened that the story of the ship’s fate after it sank did not receive enough attention.

“The Edmund Fitzgerald really seemed to go unnoticed at the time, all I had seen in the newspapers or magazines were very short, short articles, and I felt like I wanted to add to the story of the ship’s sinking myself. ” Lightfoot said in a 2014 Reddit interview.

Captain Brian Eickel, right, with the captains of the International Ship Masters 'Association, rings the bell for the seamen lost at sea on the Edmund Fitzgerald and the estimated 30,000 lives lost in other shipwrecks during the Great Lake Memorial Service at Mariners' Church from Detroit.

The ship rests in its grave, 535 feet below Lake Superior.

On Sunday, Lt. Col. Scott Katalenich of the US Army Corps of Engineers, Captain Brian Eicke of the Captains of the International Ship Masters ‘Association and Captain Ken Suddick of the Captains of the International Ship Masters’ Association raised the bell for the lost lives.

Rev. Jeffrey M. Hubbard, the rector of Mariners’ Church, asked churchgoers to pray for the sailors.

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