MORRILL, Maine — A glimpse of the Titanic sinking on a TV screen two years ago spurred Kasey Annis’ obsession with the history of the ship.
After first watching the 1997 movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Kasey, 11, didn’t realize that the Titanic was real. But when Kasey did learn it was real, she latched onto it.
For the past two years Kasey has been collecting Titanic books, boat models and movies. On Saturday, to commemorate the ship’s sinking 100 years ago, she will throw flowers into the ocean as a remembrance of the more than 1,500 people who died in the shipwreck.
“It’s amazing how many people died,” Kasey said, wearing a blue heart-shaped pendant around her neck — like the one the character Rose wore in the movie.
To remember them, Kasey will toss 151 white carnations off the Belfast footbridge into the ocean at sunset Saturday, April 14 — one flower for every 10 passengers who died. As the tide goes out, she will throw one yellow carnation in for the crew, one red flower for the captain and a lilac-colored carnation for one of her heroes, Titanic shipbuilder Thomas Andrews.
“He was a good man. He went down with the ship because he felt bad it wasn’t strong enough,” she said.
“She has to drop that flower,” said Annis’ mother, Allyson Annis.
The idea came from Kasey’s aunt, who thought it would be sweet to drop a bouquet of flowers into the ocean
“She planted that seed and Kasey ran with it,” said Allyson.
Kasey has been running with Titanic ideas for a while. She won second place in a speech contest by reciting a monologue from the Titanic movie. She has written about historical aspects of the ship just for fun. Her teachers at Ames Elementary School noticed and one even bought her a book about the ship.
“School isn’t easy for her,” Allyson said. “So when she grabbed onto this, I wanted to encourage it. This was an obsession for her. She wants to go down and see the Titanic for herself.”
Kasey wants to be a historian when she grows up. She watches every documentary she can find about the Titanic — most recently she watched one about how the ship’s wreckage landed where it did on the ocean floor.
Before Christmas in 2010, right after Kasey first saw the fictionalized Hollywood movie, she asked for a model of the ship. But not just any model. It had to be an exact replica.
The model is so big she has to keep it, and some of the rest of her collection, at her grandparents’ home in Morrill.
“It was the only thing she wanted,” Allyson said of the model ship.
So Kasey’s family pooled their money to buy the 50-inch boat which has lights, toothpick-thin ladders and a tiny crow’s nest on a twig of a mast.
“The first thing she did was count the lifeboats,” Allyson said.
There are 20.
“She just looks at it,” Allyson said.
“What else am I supposed to do with it?” Kasey asked.
Kasey’s friends have suggested she put it in the ocean during the ceremony this weekend — but she fears it would sink.
The public is welcome to the flowers ceremony at sunset Saturday, April 14, in Belfast at the footbridge to remember those who died in the Titanic’s wreck.