Captain Arthur H. Rostron commanded the Carpathia, which was a passenger ship much smaller than the Titanic of the rival Cunard line. Upon receiving the distress message from the Titanic, Captain Rostron fired up the boilers to aid the sinking ship as quickly as he could. After rescuing as many as he could, Rostron led the survivors in a prayer of remembrance for those who perished and thanksgiving for those who survived.
Titanic’s Captain Edward Smith thought nothing of navigating through the ice field. He had even said “I cannot imagine any condition which would cause a ship to founder. I cannot conceive of any vital disaster happening to this vessel. Modern shipbuilding has gone beyond that.” Contrast that with the words of Captain Rostron the morning after the disaster, “When day broke, I saw the ice I had steamed through during the night, I shuddered, and could only think that some other Hand than mine was on that helm during the night.”
Thanksgiving is a great day to celebrate – and eat lots of turkey and pumpkin pie! However, the story of Captain Arthur Rostron reminds us that thanksgiving should be an attitude we express all the time.