Two Titanic museums in the US are being criticized for holding memorials in honor of the five people who died on the Titan submersible deep-sea expedition to the famous shipwreck last week.
The Titan submersible was a few hours into its descent to view the wreckage of the Titanic when it lost communication with the surface.
After several days of intensive searching for the missing vessel, the Titan's hull was located and authorities determined that the submersible had suffered a catastrophic implosion which had killed everyone onboard.
The two Titanic museums held memorial ceremonies in which the names of the five Titan victims were added to the list of Titanic’s victims. The ceremonies included speeches and had a turnout of around 250 people.
“Every day we pay tribute to the 2,208 passengers that were onboard the Titanic,” museum employee Jamie Terrell told KY3.
“Their legacy will be their memory. We get to be the ambassadors for that and we take great honor in that. Today we’re adding five more names.”
Both museums, one in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, and the other in Branson, Missouri, are owned by John Joslyn, who was part of the 1987 expedition to Titanic. Also on the 1987 expedition was Paul-Henri Nargeolet, one of the five victims who died in the Titan's implosion.
Criticism of the Titan sub memorials at Titanic museums
Not everyone was receptive to the museum’s decision. The Titan incident has been subject to much controversy, some of which is aimed at OceanGate, the company that provided the submersible for the expedition, and some of which is aimed at the Titan passengers themselves.
The majority of passengers onboard Titan were billionaires who had paid $250,000 in order to see the wreckage of Titanic. The failed expedition was criticized online as a dangerous and unnecessary flaunting of wealth.
Social media similarly spoke up about the two museums choosing to include those who died on Titan with those who died on Titanic itself.
This is beyond ridiculous, the only person I’m sad about is the 19 yr old, but it’s objectively disrespectful putting the names of four billionaires who willingly decided to risk their life in the Titanic memorial https://t.co/iyxuTICke7— a l i k e .・゜-: ✧ (@celiander) June 26, 2023
“Imagine someone accidentally falling into the reflecting pool at the World Trade Center and drowning and getting added to the 9/11 memorial,” one commenter wrote on Twitter.