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Bells Still Toll for Lost Crewmen

November 09, 1998|Associated Press

DETROIT — The bells tolled 29 times Sunday, once for each crewman lost on the Edmund Fitzgerald, as Mariners' Church of Detroit held its annual memorial for the Great Lakes' most famous sunken ship.

The tradition began the morning after the Fitzgerald was lost in icy Lake Superior waters during a storm on Nov. 10, 1975. The Rev. Richard Ingalls prayed alone in the downtown riverfront church sanctuary and rang the church bell 29 times.

What he thought would be his private requiem eventually was reported in the media. It went on to become part of Gordon Lightfoot's ballad "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald."

Worshipers included survivors of the crew, as well as representatives of the International Ship Masters' Assn., the Coast Guard, Navy and the Great Lakes Maritime Academy.

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