Titanic: Endless Love – The Incredible Journey

More than 100 years have sailed by since the world’s most luxurious steamship, RMS Titanic, made its disastrous end in the North Atlantic sea, after crashing into an iceberg during its maiden voyage from London to New York. A deep-sea grave became the ‘pinnacle of human achievement’s’ final destination in the early hours of April 15 1912 Carrying 2223 people among whom was some of the world’s wealthiest and most famous individuals. Only 706 would survive, the other 1517 passengers would perish Many brave things occurred that tragic night, band members continued to play as the gigantic ship sank lower and lower into the sea, clergymen prayed over passengers and crew seeking refuge and comfort, while other passengers gave up their seats on lifeboats for others. One of these passengers was Ida Straus, a first-class female, who by all societal laws was most entitled to a lifeboat position Offered a chance to survive, Ida Straus refused to go without her husband Isadora. Choosing instead to make the ultimate sacrifice for love, the love and devotion of Ida and Isidor, captured in their final moments together, lives on well beyond their lifetime, serving as a symbol of eternal love. This is their story Isidor Straus was born in Otterburg, Rhenish Bavaria, Germany, on the sixth of February 1845. He was the first of five children born to Lazarus and Cyrus Straus In 1854 he, his mother and siblings emigrated to Talbotton, Georgia, USA, to join his father, a dry-goods shopkeeper, who had emigrated two years previously. They moved to Columbus in 1863 and Strauss became a successful merchant there. At the end of the Civil War the Strauses decided it was time to head north and hence relocated to New York City, the city where dreams are made and for the Strauses this was certainly true Lazarus opened L Strauss and son with Isidor. They began importing fine goods such as china, glassware and crockery. By 1874 Isidor’s younger brother, Nathan, convinced Rowell and H Macy to allow them to open a concession in the basement of Macy’s store. This was the first time in history that a store sold more than one category of merchandise Hence Macy’s became the first department store By 1888 the Strauses were part owners and by 1896 they were sole owners of Macy’s, one of the world’s largest and most famous stores. In 1902 they built and moved into the iconic building at Herald Square, during this time Isidor also served as a u.s. congressman, from 1894 to 1895. Meanwhile Rosalie Ida Blun was born in 1849 in Worms, Germany She was the sixth of eight children and immigrated to New York with her family when she was two years old. In New York Isidor’s family became acquainted with Ida’s family. Drawn together by common bonds of Jewish heritage, German origin, similar interests and would you believe even a common birthday, February 6 Isidor and Ida were married on July 12 1871. Considered by most as extremely close and an image of love, the couple were inseparable and would write letters to each other daily whenever they were apart. They made their home in New York

and had seven children together. In January of 1912 the beloved couple travelled to Europe. Now it was normally their custom to only travel on German ships, but there was a coal strike in England and all the available coal was being diverted to the Titanic because of its size and all the publicity about it being the largest and grandest ship and so the Strauses had little choice but to return to New York on the Titanic As first-class passengers they would have enjoyed all the luxuries that the Titanic had to offer; gourmet food consisting of ten course meals, world-class entertainment and even a saltwater swimming pool, the first ever built aboard a ship They would have been part of the select passengers who would have been able to use the Titanic’s grand staircase. The grand staircase was the centerpiece of the ship and is still one of the Titanic’s most recognizable features. Spanning through seven decks from the boat deck at the top, all the way down to F-deck where the Turkish baths were located. The foyers were elegantly panelled in oak and at the uppermost deck the staircase was crowned by a wrought iron and glass dome with a magnificent 50 light crystal chandelier in the centre. This was the place to be seen and see fellow passengers dressed in the latest fashions, newly purchased from Paris or London. The first-class dining saloon was the largest room on any ship at the time, nearly 35 metres long and spanning the entire width of the ship, the room was decorated in Jacobean style, but instead of the heavily carved rich wood paneling the room was almost entirely panelled in white. Leaded glass windows with light diffusion screens covered the portholes to eliminate any hint that one was aboard a ship. Placed about the room were dozens of tables that allowed either more intimate dining for two or could accommodate large parties of up to 12 passengers Here the service was exceptional Passengers ate off fine bone china with silver cutlery and drank from crystal glasses. Food and wine was served by stewards that were allocated a ratio of one steward for every two or three passengers, this ensured flawless service and that every passenger’s wish was swiftly met. Meal times were announced by bugle, approximately 45 minutes before doors open and the dress code was relaxed for breakfast and lunch, however dinner attire was always formal except on sailing day and dinner was followed by a concert in the adjoining reception room. Other amenities found on the first-class deck included a library, squash court, barber shop, Turkish bath, reading and writing rooms and enclosed promenade decks to walk and sit on. The Straus’s suite was one of the most opulent suites on the ship, it was one of four parlour suites which included one bedroom, a sitting room, two wardrobes, one bathroom and a fireplace. The cabins were C55-the sitting room, and C57-the bedroom The sitting room was one of the regency decor and had the fireplace. The panels were deep and rich in colour, with 24 karat gold gilt all around. It certainly would have been one of the most beautiful rooms on the ship. This sitting room is a replica of the suite occupied by Mr. and Mrs Straus. On the day of the Titanic sailing from Southampton, Ida took a moment to write a letter to a friend, in which she marveled at the luxury of their accommodation and wrote “What a ship, so huge and so magnificently appointed. Our rooms are furnished in the best of taste and most luxuriously they are really rooms, not cabins.” However these luxuries were short-lived, it was day four into the ship’s maiden

voyage that disaster struck. At 11:40 p.m. on April 14 1912, lookout Frederick Fleet spotted the gigantic iceberg, whose above water ice alone would have rivalled the Colosseum in size, a towering iceberg had suddenly appeared straight ahead in the dark, the lookout rang the warning bell and telephoned the bridge, the helmsman swerved to miss it, engines were put in reverse, he had less than a minute in which to avoid a head-on collision Just 37 seconds elapsed between the sighting of the iceberg and the collision Officer William McMaster Murdoch ordered the ship to turn, but it was too large to completely make it in time Instead of making direct impact, the iceberg seemed to graze along the right side of the ship, sprinkling ice fragments on the forward deck Sensing no collision, the lookouts were relieved, they had no idea that the icebergs jagged underwater spur had slashed a hundred meter dash, well below the ship’s waterline and that the Titanic was doomed By the time the captain toured the damaged area with the ship’s chief naval architect Thomas Andrews, five of the sixteen compartments were already filling with seawater and the bow of the ship was alarmingly down. The Titanic had been designed to stay afloat with four of the forward compartments flooded but no more. Hendra did a quick calculation and estimated that the Titanic might remain afloat for an hour and a half, perhaps slightly more. Four hundred tons of water was filling the Titanic each minute, at that point the captain, who had already instructed his wireless operator to call for help, ordered the lifeboats to be loaded Little more than an hour after contact with the iceberg, a largely disorganised and haphazard evacuation process began, with the lowering of the first lifeboat The people aboard the Titanic had 160 minutes before the ship would finally sink I can only imagine the frantic atmosphere that consequently engulfed the boat. The Titanic was 640 kilometres from Newfoundland, Canada. Surrounded by water that was minus 2 degrees celsius, a temperature one can only survive in for 15 to 30 minutes and probably the scariest fact of all was that there were only 20 lifeboats, a number that could at best only carry 53% of the passengers In an event unbelievable to most, the impossible had happened, the unsinkable ship was sinking, 60 precious minutes passed before the first lifeboat entered the water. As was the general maritime rule, coupled with the chivalry of the day, the order of women and children first was given As first class passengers Ida and Isidor were ushered to the upper deck, where they waited on the port side of the ship Their decision to wait on the port side played a crucial role in determining their fate. On the port side, second officer Charles Lightoller, was adhering strictly to the captain’s order, women and children first However on the starboard side, William Murdoch, the first officer in charge, was allowing men to board the lifeboats if there was any space after women and children had entered Back on the port side, lifeboat 8 was being loaded, when it came to the Straus’s turn to board, Isa started to climb in, assuming Isidor would follow However, as she put her foot into the boat, Isidor stepped back, [Isa] “Aren’t you coming Isidor?,” [Isidor] “No I can’t, it’s impossible” The thought of going without Isidor, her beloved husband, was unimaginable for Ida. Despite the continual urging by Isidor other passengers and staff, Ida likewise refused to board the lifeboat, without Isidor [Isa] “We have lived together for many years, where you go, I go, where you are

papa I shall be” [Gary] Her loving words were witnessed by those already in lifeboat number 8, as well as many others who were on the boat deck at the time. Instead of boarding the boat, she graciously handed a fur coat to her maid, Ellen, saying “I won’t need this anymore, you take it” Lifeboat number 8 was lowered at approximately 110 a.m. with a total of 39 passengers, it had the capacity to hold 65 According to survivors accounts, when it became apparent that there was no hope of the Titanic staying afloat, Isidor insisted that Isa enter the second-to-last lifeboat that was being launched. She still refused to go without him The officer in charge attempted with force to make her enter the boat, but she refused, “I will not be separated from my husband as we have lived so we will die together” Given the fatal state of the Titanic, the officer in charge was willing to make an exception and let Isidor into the lifeboat However, he responded with quiet dignity, “as long as there is a woman on this vessel I will not leave.” Sitting side-by-side in chairs, as a giant wave crashed over them, others say they were standing arm in arm, at 2:00 a.m. on April 15 1912, the famous RMS Titanic tilted its turn towards the heavens and sank to its final resting place. With a temperature of minus 2 degrees celsius or 28 degrees fahrenheit, the water was lethally cold, Second Officer Lightoller described the feeling of a thousand knives being driven into his body as he entered the scene, Jack Thayer compared it to the sound of locusts on a summer night, while George Reims, who jumped moments before the Titanic sank, described it as a dismal moaning sound which I won’t ever forget Those in the lifeboats were horrified to hear the sound from those poor people who are floating around calling for help [man’s voice] “From the lifeboats we could hear the sound of every possible emotion of human fear, despair, agony, fierce resentment and blind anger, mingled with notes of infinite surprise as though each one we’re saying how is it possible that this awful thing is happening to me that I should be caught in this deathtrap?” Isidor’s body was recovered and he was buried in the Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, where he’s interred in a stone replica of an Egyptian funeral ship in the courtyard of the Straus family mausoleum But Ida’s body was never found Isidora and Ida are memorialised on a Cenotaph at the mausoleum, an inscription from the Bible book of Song of Solomon, chapter 8 and verse 7, is dedicated to them. It’s a reminder of their courage, self-sacrifice and devotion to each other The story of their self-sacrificing love struck a chord in the hearts of people all around the world and with many New York residents, where the Strauses were well-known and well-liked philanthropists. Thousands attended their memorial service, synagogues honoured them and Mayor William J Gaynor praised them as heroes [Joan] Shortly after Titanic sank, citizens of New York decided that it was proper and appropriate to erect a memorial of some sort and a contest was held to select a site and then to have an architect and a sculptor and Augustus Luqman was the sculptor, who did a really lovely statue

an allegorical statue of a reclining woman, not anyone in particular, she’s called memory and she is looking down upon a reflecting pool and so the visitors to the park can reflect upon what happened and in their own lives they can bring whatever it is that they want to this and of course it was built just one block away from where the Straus’s home was, so it’s a perfect place for this lovely memorial to Isidor and Ida Straus They were a remarkable couple and they were philanthropic, they were merchants they were everything, but I think that the most important is their amazing love for each other, their devotion for each other and the way they conducted themselves in such a moral and ethical life [Paul] Like great grandparent’s love for each other, their commitment to one another was indeed quite special. Isidor had to travel a great deal for business and to go to Europe and abroad he would write Ida every day and she would write him every day there couldn’t be an exception and I remember my grandmother saying that she has as, her fondest memory, and I wouldn’t expect this of my grandmother, was how much they liked to hold each other, and when they would walk they wanted to walk holding hands and would just spontaneously put their arms over each other and embrace We’re fortunate that we have good reason to know what the last view of my great-grandparents was and there were many different versions, but we have a testimony from eyewitnesses in two of the lifeboats and we have reason to believe that that is the authentic knowledge of what they were doing and where they were. They were onboard of the deck and they were in their lifejackets as they were told to be, with coats, holding hands and then at a point when the waves became quite fierce prior to the ship actually sinking – into the sea, that they embraced, so they became one and then one eyewitness said a great wave came over the top of the ship and swept all those who were standing there, including the Strauses, into the sea and that was their last moment, embraced, being thrown into the ocean to die, with the affection and the love with which they had lived. Really Isidor and Ida story is a love story, it was a love story between two very special people and I’m simply fortunate to be the great-grandson [Gary] Isador’s wedding ring was recovered, along with his body, after the Titanic tragedy. This gold ring, with their wedding date inscribed, is a perfect and simple symbol of Isidor and Ida’s love This ring is an unbroken circle, its unending just like their love, endless love. The love of Ida and Isidor gives us a glimpse of at the very highest form of love, God’s love for us, endless love, it reminds us of the sacrifice he made and his desire to never be separated from us. As Romans 8 verse 38 states: “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Wouldn’t you like to experience that endless love, in its most perfect form? Well you can, just ask for it right now while we pray, Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for this wonderful example of endless love. It’s something we all want to experience in our lives. We thank you for offering it to each one of us, we now reach out and accept it and thank you

for your love and goodness to us Make your face shine upon us and grant us your peace, heavenly peace, in Jesus’ name we pray, amen The story of the Titanic has captured the hearts and minds of people all over the world, many brave things occurred that tragic night, there were many acts of love and heroism. There are many lessons that can be learned from the Titanic experience, lessons that can even make a difference to our lives today. If you’d like to know more about this, then I’d like to recommend the free gift we have for all our viewers today, it’s the inspiring booklet: God’s Love For Man It answers many of life’s big questions, including the age-old questions, what does God’s love really mean? How can I know he really loves me? And if God does really love us, then why does he allow such terrible things to happen? This booklet is our gift to you and is absolutely free, there are no costs or obligations whatsoever. So don’t miss this opportunity to obtain your free booklet today, here’s the information you need: Phone us now on 0481 315 101 or text us on 0491 222 999 or visit our website: theincrediblejourney.tv to request today’s free offer, so don’t delay. Phone us now on 0481 315 101 contact us right now If you’ve enjoyed today’s journey, be sure to join us again next week, when we will share another of life’s journeys together and experience another new and thought-provoking perspective on the peace, insight, understanding and hope that only the Bible can give us. The Incredible Journey truly is television that changes lives Until next week, remember the ultimate destination of life’s journey “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes, there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying, there shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” [lady singing] Still all my song shall be nearer, my God, to thee, [lady singing] Nearer my God to thee, [lady singing] nearer to thee