The current exhibit featuring the Titanic at the Rochester Museum & Science Center is a treasure of symbolism for all who understand the travesty of almost 100 years ago and its current relevance.
The Titanic was the largest ship ever built. It embodied the best technology of its day and was deemed indestructible. On its maiden voyage, the most noted marine captain of the time demonstrated his lack of communication skills. At the helm of the ship, he ignored warnings of icebergs and proceeded on a course at 20 knots right into the ice field. The rest is history. The Titanic now rests on the ocean floor—a relic of arrogant misjudgment and a tomb for more than 1,500 trusting souls.
I saw a similarity between the Titanic and our current ship of state. America is a symbol to the world—a free, prosperous and indestructible country. The symbolism I see is our ship of state sailing headlong into uncharted waters with multitrillion-dollar debts and ruinous taxation as icebergs.
At some point our ship of state may founder, and it, too, may become a footnote in history. The Titanic had at its helm an experienced captain. This captain refused to reduce his speed, and the “indestructible” ship sank. His lack of common sense was fatal.
My concern after viewing the Titanic exhibit is with the similarity of our own national problems. And our ship of state has at its helm an inexperienced captain.
Our democracy should have checks and balances on the government, consisting of a free press and independent thinking in the House and Senate. The Titanic lacked means of restraint, and now we have a government without meaningful restraints.
The symbolism I saw in the Titanic exhibit relates to our nation—and its headlong rush into uncharted waters without restraint.
—Edward D. McDonald