Family story wins couple a Titanic wedding

May 13, 2009 at 1:40 PM   |   Comments

4 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.

© 2009 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
Thai woman posts more than 12,000 selfies
Albino crocodile named for Michael Jackson shot dead after eating fisherman
Atlantic City casino loses $21,000 cash left on roof of armored truck
Man fakes suicide to get out of engagement to long-distance fiance
Woman finds 3-foot-long boa constrictor in used car trunk
Trending News