A historic church in downtown Detroit will remember Sailors who died in shipwrecks on Michigan’s waterways and the Great Lakes.
The annual Great Lakes Memorial Service will take place at 3 p.m. on Sunday. It will be streamed live from Mariners Church, along the Detroit River.
On Lakes Superior, Michigan Huron, Erie, and Ontario, there have been approximately 30,000 deaths and 6,000 shipwrecks. Thursday marks the 47th anniversary, possibly of the most famous wreck, the sinking of S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald on Nov. 10, 1975.
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The freighter was transporting iron ore pellets to a Detroit Steel mill. It plunged to the bottom at Lake Superior in a storm. It was 17 miles (27 km) from Whitefish Point, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
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A year after the loss of Edmund Fitzgerald, a memorial service was held in Mariners’ Church. It included the ringing 29 times of the “Brotherhood”, one for each crewman on the freighter.
The Rev. Jeffrey Hubbard is the pastor of Mariners’ Church of Detroit. But they can be unpredictable and treacherous.
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Hubbard stated that there have been six thousand shipwrecks and many more, as well as the 30,000 deaths in these wrecks. Hubbard said, “That’s why each year we take the time to reflect on these lives and pray that there won’t be any more deaths or wrecks on the lakes in future.”
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Mariners’ Church was established in 1842 to be a place for prayer and reflection by sailors. It is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.