I’ve been enjoying Andrew Roberts’ current biography of Winston Churchill titled Churchill: Walking with Destiny. The book contains a letter in which Churchill opines about the sinking of the Titanic and about how proud he was that the guys on the ship place females and youngsters onto the lifeboats 1st. Churchill mentioned that the entire occasion “reflects nothing at all but honour upon our civilization.” His prose is grandiose but stirring:
I can not support feeling proud of our race and its traditions as proved by this occasion. Boatloads of females and youngsters tossing on the sea protected and sound — and the rest — silence. Honour to their memory. In spite of all the inequalities and artificialities of our modern day life, at the bottom — tested to its foundations, our civilization is humane, Christian, and totally democratic. How differently Imperial Rome or Ancient Greece would have settled the challenge. The swells and potentates would have gone off with their concubines and pet slaves and soldier guards, and . . . whoever could bribe the crew would have had the preference and the rest could go to hell. But such ethics could neither make Titanics with science nor shed them with honour.’
I cannot support but wonder if guys in 2019 would do what these guys did more than 1 hundred years ago. Would they place the females and youngsters into the lifeboats 1st? Or would the elbow their personal way to security? In any case, what an act of valor on the aspect of these guys. Churchill is proper. The entire occasion reflects honor on that civilization.