MILWAUKEE -- Sunday, April 15th marked the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. The Titanic hit an iceberg before sinking into the icy Atlantic ocean in the early morning hours.
Those fascinated by the disaster boarded the Azamara Journey for a cruise to mark the somber occasion. Sunday morning, those passengers observed a moment of silence during a wreath-laying ceremony.
Many of the 450 passengers on board the cruise have personal ties to the Titanic.
In Milwaukee Sunday, there were two different major celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of the ship's sinking. The Bartolotta's hosted an event at the Grain Exchange, while Mader's had a themed dinner at their restaurant on Old World 3rd Street.
With tickets in hand, guests like Ted and Linda Groves seemingly strolled back into history Sunday night at Mader's Restaurant. "I've never tried the Titanic period, so it's a fun thing," Ted Groves said. "It's a little bit different, which made it a little more exciting," Linda Groves said.
"When I see all the other ladies and the men dressed up, you kind of feel like you're back in the day," Wendy Mader said.
It was April 15th, 1912 when the largest passenger ship of its kind hit an iceberg in the north Atlantic, sinking and taking with it more than 1,500 lives. "It does give us an opportunity to think about the souls that we lost and also celebrate the people that survived," Mader said.
Vic and Wendy Mader hosted Sunday night's celebratory seven-course dinner.
At the Grain Exchange, another big dinner was hosted by the Bartolotta group. "I want people to celebrate life and history. This is a celebration of history and who we are today," Maria Bartolotta said.
Melissa Vartanian-Mikaleian, the great-granddaughter of one of the ship's survivors was front and center at the event. "I feel pretty blessed that I'm able to be here and tell the story and let people know that there was some survival that night and celebrate that as well," Vartanian-Mikaelian said.
Both events were completely sold out and Mader's has added more events this week to continue the commemoration of the Titanic.