HALIFAX, NS (NEWS1130) – The centennial of the Titanic sinking was marked around the world today.

In Halifax, people gathered in the city’s downtown to remember the disaster and the city’s grim connection to it.

“You only really have to be here to realize how tragic and terrible it was,” says Thomas Hodgson, a lawyer who travelled from Australia to take part in the commemoration. “It affects the whole world like 9-11 affects the whole world.”

Last night, a funeral carriage pulled by two horses led a candlelight procession from Halifax’s waterfront outside the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic through downtown streets. People, some of whom were wearing period costumes, followed the hearse.

At the square in front of Halifax City Hall, bands played songs as actor Gordon Pinsent told the ill-fated ship’s story during a performance that lasted nearly four hours.

“People marvelled, not just on hearing of the Titanic’s sheer size, but on learning of her grand opulence,” said Pinsent. “She was a sight to behold — massive and majestic, shiny and sleek — everyone wanted to be part of her maiden voyage to America.”

Some 1,500 passengers and crew members died on April 15, 1912, when the Titanic collided with an iceberg and sank, swallowed by the frigid waters of the North Atlantic south of the Grand Banks. There were just over 700 survivors.

“In stark contrast to the 10,000 people who waited on the docks in New York for the Carpathia to arrive, there were no relieved crowds waiting on shore [in Halifax]. Just a city in mourning, the City of Sorrow,” explained Pinsent.

Since then, Halifax has become a pilgrimage site for history buffs and those whose ancestors died on the ship. The city is also the final resting place for 150 of the Titanic’s victims.

A moment of silence was scheduled for 12:27 a.m. Halifax time today, the same time when the last wireless messages from the Titanic were heard at Cape Race, NL. But that was delayed by about 40 minutes after the Grand Parade performances went longer than planned and Pinsent’s microphone experienced technical problems.

More events are planned for today, including an interfaith memorial service at the cemetery where 121 Titanic victims are buried.

In Belfast, Northern Ireland, where the Titanic was built, thousands attended a choral requiem at the Anglican St. Anne’s Cathedral.

At the ship’s departure’s point of Southampton, England, an orchestra played composer Gavin Bryars’ work, “The Sinking of the Titanic.”