Family Story Wins Couple A Titanic Wedding


United Press International
May 13 2009

MILWAUKEE, May 13 (UPI) — The great-granddaughter of a young Armenian
immigrant who survived the sinking of the Titanic is to be married
in a Titanic exhibit in Milwaukee.

Melissa Vartanian won a contest by sending in David Vartanian’s
harrowing story, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. The
22-year-old swam to a lifeboat and hung on to the side, resisting
passengers who tried to shake him off, until he was rescued.

More than 1,500 people died when the White Star liner sank on April 15,
1912. In steerage, where David Vartanian was traveling, three out of
four passengers died.

"It was a tragedy, an absolute tragedy that happened. The difference
for my family is that it was ultimately about hope and freedom,"
Melissa said. "For my family, it brought life."

David Vartanian’s young wife had remained in Turkey and finally joined
him in the United States in 1923. Vartanian walked with a cane because
of the damage his legs suffered the frigid North Atlantic water.

On Friday, Melissa Vartanian and Vache Mikaelian will be married
in the "Titanic: The Artifact Exhibit" at the Milwaukee Public
Museum. Entering her family history in the contest sponsored
by WTMJ-TV’s "Morning Blend" show won Melissa Vartanian an
all-expenses-paid ceremony and reception.

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