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RMS Lusitania

I rummaged in my files for some references to the sinking of the steamship Lusitania on May 7th, 1915. (There’s plenty available on the internet; see, especially http://www.lusitania.net). Ordinarily events like this tragedy don’t strike home; they manage a detachment from our lives and seem always to have happened to someone else. Here is a piece from the front page of The Plantagenet belying that detachment.

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Newspapers don’t always portray what was actually going on, however. Reading between the lines and knowing some senior members of the extended Tennant family, I sense that the community rallied to insulate them from outsiders, especially members of the press who had descended upon us from Sioux City, Des Moines and even as far as Chicago in search of something juicy. Are the press doing us a favor by trying to put a face on the abstract?

The search dragged on for weeks but there was still no word of Anson. Perhaps it was the lack of a recovered body that allowed them to hope. “Out of sight is out of mind.” “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” Which do you prefer?

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