Tuesday, May 08, 2007

A Few Ruminations on an Anniversary

It had been a rainy day that day in New Jersey, May 6, 1937. At the US Naval Air Station in Lakehurst, sailors fretted and smoked in their pea jackets while awaiting the late arrival.

Gradually it appeared, a gigantic silver shape held aloft by eight million cubic feet of hydrogen and propelled by four huge engines. The tail fins were emblazoned with the national flag of the German Reich at that time, for this was the LZ-129 Hindenburg, coming in for a delayed landing. Its passengers, allowed the comforts usually found in the best ocean liners of the day, relaxed and waited for the airship to be landed.

Newsreel cameras and radio commentators watched as the airship came into trim and dropped its mooring lines. As sailors took the lines and started to guide the zeppelin to the mooring mast, a reddish glow could be seen near the upper rudder.

It was all over in under a minute.

The fire, now believed to be a static discharge that ignited the aluminum powder and iron oxide in the airship's skin, touched off the hydrogen and the airship began to burn. Thirty-six people died.

Fast forward a bit.

In retrospect, I should have known. My fiance and I wanted a weekend wedding and a relatively brief honeymoon, so we fixed the date of our nuptials at May 6, 2000. At the time, I thought the time propitious.

May 6th this year would have been my seventh wedding anniversary, had we not divorced in 2003.

Shows what karma can do to you.


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11:27 AM EDT  

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