'At seven P.M. a main hatchway caved in; he said,
"Fellas, it's bin good t'know ya!"
The captain wired in he had water comin' in
and the good ship and crew was in peril.
And later that night when 'is lights went outta sight
came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.'
- Gordon Lightfoot song 'The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.'
The lyrics in the above passage were changed in 2010. I didn't know that. The amended line is 'At 7 p.m., it grew dark, it was then he said'. Of course, I'll always remember listening to the song with my now deceased mother and watching her cry as she remembered that fateful night 39 years ago today. She told me that she was related to one of the mighty FitzGerald's crew. I don't know which Sailor, nor will I ever know. But every year I do mourn the death of the twenty nine men. Every year I watch the same documentary. Every year I read the same book. Every year I look at the same painting by artist Chad Florence. As my mother passed on, her obsession became my own. I wonder how the greatest freighter of the day simply vanished. Of course, there's no doubt in my mind that the waves sunk the Edmund Fitzgerald. Still, 39 years later, here are plenty of theories.
Today we should just reflect. Reflect on how nature can be so violent sometimes. Reflect on the lives lost in such horrifying circumstances. Reflect on how these things just happen, and there's nothing anybody can do to stop it...
About The Author
Matthew Frank Kot was born and raised here in Sault Ste Marie. He first starting writing articles for Soonews.ca in early 2008, becoming the city's youngest columnist and journalist. He then went on to write for Local2, and for a short time had his "MATTer of Opinion" column on SaultOnline.com. Matthew was very involved in the 2010 and 2014 Municipal Elections and wrote several opinion pieces about important issues. In 2011, Matthew started Sault Transit Reform and has continued advocating for a better transit system since then.