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Memorial Services Remember Titanic Victims

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Captain Went Down with the Ship
Ship Not Unsinkable After All

Passengers Famously Separated by Class
Ship Historic Before It Sailed
Rediscovered but Still Holding Secrets
Still Capturing the Popular Imagination

People around the world spent some of their time on April 15, 2012 remembering the more than 1,500 people lost when the ocean liner Titanic a century ago.

A notable memorial service took place aboard the MS Balmoral, a cruise ship that retraced the Titanic's route, including a stop at the exact spot in the Atlantic Ocean, 380 miles off Newfoundland, where the Titanic hit the giant iceberg on the evening of April 14. After a brief memorial service and moment of silence, descendants of those who lost their lives when the Titanic sank cast floral wreaths into the waves at 2.20 a.m., the exact time that the ship sank.

The Balmoral had sailed from Belfast, Northern Ireland, where the Titanic was built. Another cruise ship, the Journey, sailed form New York, the Titanic's destination, and had a similar service at the same spot.

A memorial service also took place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where 121 of the Titanic victims are buried, and in Libertytown, Maryland, thought to be the site of the first country's memorial.

Back in Belfast, organizers unveiled a memorial monument to the dead. Attending the service there were relatives of the dead and explorer Robert Ballard, who discovered the wreck of the Titanic in 1985. The monument contains bronze plaques listing all of the Titanic victims alphabetically, without distinctions for crew, passengers, or class. The service ended with a choir singing "Nearer My God to Thee," a hymn that survivors say the Titanic's band was playing as the ship sank underneath the icy waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

Long associated with the disaster part of the Titanic story, Belfast has recently embraced its past and begun to emphasize the construction part of the history and just how revolutionary some parts of the ship were. The city has opened a visitor center on the docks where the ship was built.

Elsewhere, the town of Barmough, Gwynedd, unveiled a plaque honoring Commander Harold Lowe, whom records show commanded the only lifeboat that went looking for survivors, ending with pulling four survivors from the icy waters.

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