Today is Remembrance Day. It has been estimated that during the reign of our civilization up to 1 billion humans have died during conflict.
As explorers our goal is to enjoy the places we visit, like the WWII shipwrecks on the coast of Newfoundland - visited this year by the Great Island Expedition. But fun is really the byproduct of the main goal, which is education.
The wreckages we dive on are incredibly fun experiences, but they are more than that - they are war graves, they are the conclusions of a specific conflict. They need to be documented so they can be remembered, as explorers and storytellers that’s our responsibility, and it’s a good deal compared to what our family members and ancestors had to go through.
Laying a plaque isn’t just a gesture, it’s an important reminder. Maybe the next diver will stop and think about where they are, and the people that gave so much in order for them to enjoy that experience.
Without remembrance we are doomed to make the same mistakes again and again.
A Union Jack hangs on a Bell Island iron ore carrier. Not all sailors lost during conflict are military. Merchant seaman around the world have been lost to war, but only in the 90’s were they recognized as veterans.
Lanier Phillips - an American legend you’ve never heard of. The only African American survivor of the USS Truxtun which went aground in a raging winter storm on February 18, 1942. He later went on to be a civil rights activist and decorated veteran.
Listening is an important part of exploring.
A porthole from the USS Pollux.
This isn’t a “we were here” sign, this says “they were here - don’t forget”.
Once made for defending against U-boats, this gun is now gives life a platform to flourish.
Tiare Boyes, an explorer that understands the weight of responsibility on storytellers. The ocean that gave us such a great experience, has given hundreds of others - right here - their final resting place.
A memorial ceremony on Bell Island.
The wreck of the PLM, an iconic Newfoundland landmark, and a powerful reminder that we are surrounded by history worth remembering.