by Mary Dickinson
November 21, 2003
East of the Fishermen’s Wives Memorial is the Fishermen’s Memorial Monument. If you have watch the movie The Perfect Storm you will know why the monument exists. Tested beyond endurance by the lure of the sea and the needs of the fishing industry, those men gave their all and lost their lives. Over 5000 names are emblazoned on the Wall of Remembrance surrounding the monument.
The bronze fisherman, standing at the helm, carefully controlling his craft to clear some dangerous rocks, is bigger than life on a rough hewn block of sea green granite. "They that go down to the sea in ships. 1623-1923" is inscribed on a single bronze plaque on the front of the granite block.
Gloucester has been a fishing seaport for 380 years. In the early days codfish were salted and placed on flakes to dry. Preserved, it could be used as a commodity for trade. Many of the names of the men on the memorial were from Nova Scotia. Today, Gloucester is mostly a Portuguese community.
From the monument, in an easterly direction, today’s fishing fleet and Gloucester’s many warehouses crowd the wharf. Looking south, toward the harbor, fishing boats sail in with their catch. Nearby, restaurants provide delicious meals serving fresh fish from their own fleets and Gorton’s is a familiar name for frozen seafood in the supermarket. They use the top half of the helmsman in their logo.
From journal Exploring Cape Ann