REMEMBER THE MAINE, TO HELL WITH SPAIN

The U.S. battleship Maine was sunk on this date in 1898 in Havana harbor. The United States blamed Spain. The sinking and other factors lead soon thereafter to the Spanish-American War.

The title of this blog represents the cry of the people of the United States and their desire for a war of retribution against Spain. It was also the battle cry of the American troops in the subsequent war itself.

“Remember the Maine, to hell with Spain!”

Key West has three significant connections with the Battleship Maine.

The first is that the Maine left from Key West to go to Cuba.

The second is that a Board of Inquiry was held in Key West to determine the cause of the sinking.

Third, a number of the U.S. sailors from the Maine are buried in the Key West Cemetery.

The Board of Inquiry was held in what is now the Custom House. At the same time as the United States was holding its official inquiry at Key West’s Custom House, the Spanish were holding their own Board of Inquiry in Havana to determine the cause of the Maine’s sinking.

The U. S. Board of Inquiry concluded the Maine was sunk by some sort of mine, either a floating mine or a homemade bomb attached to the hull of the Maine. The Spanish Board of Inquiry determined the cause of the sinking to be the result of an internal explosion. One started by a fire.

Nearly three quarters of the men on board the Maine were killed. Many were sent home for burial. Some either had no homes or for whatever reason were not shipped home. They had to be buried. They were buried in the Key West Cemetery. There is a special monument acknowledging their resting place. A special ceremony is held each year to honor them.

I dislike staying in on a friday night. I did last night. St. Valentine’s day is big in Key West as it is all over most of the world. That means the restaurants and bars were packed with lovers. I was alone. Not a night out for me. I enjoyed some old movies on TV.

Since early December, there have been quiet rumblings in Key West concerning a man named Charles Eimers. He was in Key West either on vacation or had recently arrived. An altercation occurred with the police on Thanksgiving Day. It is thought that Eimers might have been beaten by the police. A number of officers were involved.

Eimers died a few days later on December 4.

An investigation has been ongoing. A quiet one. The walking on eggs type. Yesterday, a medical report was released that indicated Eimers had ten broken ribs. The cause of the broken ribs was attributed to “medical therapy.” A defibrillator was used.

I suspect the matter will receive more scrutiny and be the ongoing subject of news reports. Whatever occurred must be known. Let transparency not be an issue. Justice must be allowed to take its course where ever it may lead.

Syracuse basketball this afternoon. At 3. Against North Carolina State. I will be watching the game at Lukas’ Sports Pub.

This should be an easy one for Syracuse. I hope so. Very few have been easy thus far.

Enjoy your day!

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