Eileen Dahill N.America/MN

The Gales of November

Fierce storm weather yesterday in Minnesota! The gales of November came early again to our state and on the anniversary of the maritime catastrophe – the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald. The Edmund Fitzgerald lost 29 men as it left the Minnesota Harbor – some Irish Americans – Rafferty, McCarthy, and O’Brien – and now immortalized in the 1976 song sung by Gordon Lightfoot.

The Edmund Fitzgerald was finally located by the Calypso – a vessel owned by the French mariner Jacques Cousteau.

I have watched the big ships come in to the Duluth port from all over the world – mostly loading grain but also ships like the Edmund Fitzgerald hauling taconite pellets. The last one I saw the harbor master lift the bridge for was from Russia some years ago.

I wish I was back home in Derry

I am glad that Christy Moore put the words of Bobby Sands to the haunting tune. “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” and “I wish I was back home in Derry” are sometimes played back to back in Minnesota. I think they resonate with the same grief and loss of families left behind.