Descendants mark centenary of Titanic launch

May 31, 2011 17:26

BELFAST - Descendants of some of the 1,517 people who died when the Titanic struck an iceberg and sank held a minute's silence on Tuesday at the spot where the liner was launched with huge fanfare a century ago.

A flare was set off and crowds cheered at precisely 12:13 p.m. local time to mark the anniversary of the fateful launch on May 31, 1911, of what was then the largest passenger steamship ever built.

After its Belfast launch, the ship left for Southampton to begin its fateful maiden journey to New York.

For years, Belfast shied away from acknowledging its links with the doomed liner, built by 15,000 workers at the Harland and Wolff shipyard, but it has since decided to embrace its role as the birthplace of the world's most famous ship.

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