Big Beautiful World 7 — Fisherman’s Memorial, Gloucester, MA

I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating, and tell all your friends to pass it along: It’s a big, beautiful world out there. Let’s stop trying to screw it up. What do you say?

Gloucester, MA is, of course, known as a fishing port and in its nearly 400 years they have, also of course, lost ships and men to the sea. The city has seen fit to erect a memorial to the fishermen, complete with a statue (The Man At The Wheel), a quote from a psalm (“They that go down to the sea in ships”, Psalm 107:23, KJV) and a ring of granite markers with plaques inscribed with all the names of the men who died on the sea, from 1716-2011. It’s all weighty and sobering with a melancholy loveliness, as The Man At The Wheel looks out over the harbor, watching over his lost brothers.

The statue is quite moving, and much-photographed. Over in the corner, the memorial turned personal. Wired to the railing, those flowers weren’t going anywhere.

This almost made me cry.

Sometimes, the world astonishes me with its poignance. Rest easy, sailors.

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