Remembering the Edmund Fitzgerald

Today is the 40th anniversary of the sinking of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald on Lake Superior (November 10, 1975), a tragic event that will forever be etched in Michigan’s memory.

Four decades after its demise, the Edmund Fitzgerald continues to capture our imaginations and evoke such intense emotion that even seemingly the most typical family vacation photos can suddenly take on new meaning. Such is the case of this photo, graciously provided to me by one of my father’s friends, Karen Sturdavant Zumfelde of Napoleon, Ohio.

Edmund Fitzgerald

Karen describes the photo as being of her young sister, taken between sometime 1964 and 1966 at the Soo Locks in Sault Ste Marie, Michigan. Who could have known then that the photo would later be so powerful and awe inspiring. Thanks, Karen.

In 2010, I had the honor of visiting the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum at Whitefish Point, Michigan for the first time. The Edmund Fitzgerald exhibit is a moving tribute to the men who lost their lives that fateful night and seeing the ship’s bell should not be missed.

Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum

Here is a fantastic video tribute to the Edmund Fitzgerald, set to Gordon Lightfoot’s immortal song.

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