CHICAGO (CBS) — A wreath laying ceremony on the riverfront Saturday morning marked the 100th anniversary of the biggest disaster in Chicago history.
CBS 2’s Jim Williams reports the solemn ceremony included music and stories from the descendants of those who were on the Eastland when it tipped over and capsized in the Chicago River a century ago.
844 died when the Eastland turned upside down on the Chicago River on July 24, 1915.
“My grandmother always remembers seeing all of the babies floating the water, some of them still in their baby carriages,” said one woman. “This was a memory that would last her all of her life.”
“It impacted countless families and forever changed Chicago becoming the city’s worst incident in the sheer number of lives lost,” said Michelle Woods of the city of Chicago.
Families tossed rose petals in the water and watched as members of the Chicago Fire Department paid tribute as well.
At exactly 8:44 p.m., families will light 844 candles to remember those who died 100 years ago.