facebook
twitter
search
search

Family story wins couple a Titanic wedding

May 13, 2009 at 1:40 PM
1 of 4
| License Photo

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.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Seal tries to steal shark from fishing line in California
'Puppies' adopted by Chinese man turn out to be Asian black bears
A new, thinner Oreo cookie is set to hit shelves
Florida man captures lightning strike on Gainesville Wendy's
Man kicked by camel while attempting selfie with nursing calf