The family of two Pakistani men who died in the implosion of a submersible as it descended to the wreckage of the Titanic held a virtual memorial service Tuesday and thanked everyone who tried to rescue the father and son or sent condolences from around the world.
The prayer service was arranged by the family of Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old son, Suleman, days after authorities confirmed that everyone on the Titan died. The submersible carrying five people imploded near the site of the shipwrecked Titanic and killed everyone on board.
Shahzada Dawood’s widow, Christina Dawood, was in tears as she shared memories of her husband and son. She was on board a support vessel on June 18 when she got word that communications with the Titan submersible had been lost during its voyage to the ocean floor.
In her remarks, she thanked those who had helped the family in its time of grief. The service was broadcast on YouTube through the family’s charity, the Dawood Foundation.
Shahzada and Suleman Dawood were members of one of Pakistan’s most prominent families. The elder man’s father, Hussain Dawood, said during Tuesday’s service that his son and grandson were gifts of God that had been taken back by God.
He also described the two as martyrs and said “martyrs go straight to paradise.”
“What does the father say” when he faces such a tragedy, he asked.
Hussain Dawood, said Suleman and Shahzada were very excited about going to see the Titanic and before leaving for their voyage convinced him that“we should go to Antarctica, too” next winter.
“I’m actually convinced they have enriched our lives beyond measure,” Dawood said, vowing, “We will take forward their legacy.”
Christina Dawood shared memories of when she first met her husband and their wedding in Pakistan’s eastern city of Lahore.
When Suleman was born, her husband was happy like other fathers but “when he held his son for the first time, I just knew these two belong together,” the wife and mother said. She sensed then that he had “found a long-lost companion for his adventures to come.”