The Halifax Disaster December 6, 1917
It was the largest man made explosion until the dropping of the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshimo. It was the explosion of the French munitions ship the SS Mont Blanc after colliding with the Norwegian ship SS Imo in the narrows of Halifax harbour. The Mont Blanc caught fire and finally exploded as people on the shore watched, unaware of the danger. The explosion caused a force blast in the air, followed by a tsunami and then the outbreaks of fires as flaming debris landed on the largely wooden city.
I have always known the story of the famous Canadians disaster because me mother told me about it. It happened the year she was born. Years later, as a young woman, she worked in an office for a man who was on a train about to enter Halifax. He was in the city the day after the incident. When I was a student in High School we studied a Canadian novel based on the Halifax disaster, Barometer Rising by Hugh MacLennan. Finally, when I lived in Boston I was reminded of it for each years since the disaster the people of Halifax delivered a Christmas Tree to the city as a reminder of their gratitude for the aid the people of Boston offered them.. Their train was the first relief to reach the city. This is just one example of the bond between the people of New England States and he Maritime Provinces.
Today, is a good day to remember the bonds between our two countries, even as we celebrate the War of 1812, and disagree as to who won that war so long ago.