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Blessed today in Boston ceremony, 1.5 million rose petals will be strewn over Titanic sinking site

The ocean directly above the Titanic’s final resting place will be blanketed with 1.5 million red rose petals Saturday during a solemn tribute carried out by the crew of a Coast Guard cutter departing from Boston today.

[fragment number=0]“We wanted to give visitors to the Titanic museum a way to pay tribute, a way to mourn the loss of so many lives 100 years ago,’’ said Rick Laney, spokesman for Titanic Museum Attractions in Branson, Mo. Since August 2011, visitors to Titanic Museum Attractions were handed a rose petal to place in a glass case. Those petals will be strewn onto the sea.

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Two large wooden crates filled with the petals sat on the deck of the cutter Juniper today during a ceremony at the Coast Guard base in Boston. Kevin Boland, bishop emeritus of Savannah, Ga., blessed the crates with holy water.

“On April 14th, 1912, the vessel steamed comfortably into the Atlantic with over 2,200 passengers aboard,’’ Boland said, standing at a podium on the deck before about 100 Coast Guard crew members.

“No one could have dreamed what laid ahead,’’ he continued. “The mighty ship was impaled by an even mightier iceberg. One hundred years have passed, and the century has not dimmed the memory of the pain of loss and tragedy.’’

The Titanic set sail on April 10, 1912, from Southampton, England. It made stops in France and Ireland before setting out on its trans-Atlantic crossing. It struck an iceberg on the night of April 14, just before midnight, and sank in the early morning hours of April 15.

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