By Perry Klein
Every year, in the evening of April 14/15, around 12:30 a.m., members of the Men’s Titanic Society arrive at the Titanic Memorial on the Southwest Waterfront for a special ceremony they have been conducting for decades.
The statue was designed by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney and was originally located along the Potomac in 1931. It was moved to 4th and P St., SW in 1966 to make way for the Kennedy Center.
The Men’s Titanic Society, in formal attire, arrive at the SW Waterfront after having dinner at the National Press Club. Most members are in the TV news industry. When they arrive, a butler pours champagne, a bell is rung, and each gives a toast “to the brave men who gave their lives that women and children might be saved.” They then dedicate a red wreath which they leave at the memorial.
In the past several years, there actually have been two ceremonies. Around 11 p.m. on the same evening, boys from the Avalon School, a Catholic boys school in Wheaton, visit the memorial and have their own ceremony.