Photography by John Michael

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Defenders Day at Fort McHenry 09 SEP 2017

A Historic Celebration – Fortified!





Celebrated annually to commemorate the Battle of Baltimore during the War of 1812, Defenders Day is a Maryland holiday celebrated in 2017 on 12 September in which Fort McHenry played a pivotal role in the success of that battle.  The British with their array of warships in the harbor bombarded the fort repeatedly during the battle.   The soldiers of the fort responded in kind with a steady barrage and the Americans were victorious.


On one of those British ships was an American lawyer, who was aboard on a mission to release some prisoners takenFort McHenry Stars and Stripes by the British.  Unfortunately, or perhaps very fortunately, he was kept aboard the ship when the bombardment commenced.  It lasted through the night and when dawn broke, the “Stars and Stripes” were still flying over the fort.  He was so moved by the sight of his young nation’s flag, that he penned a four-verse poem.

The name of the lawyer?  Francis Scott Key.   The poem that he wrote? Defense of Fort M’Henry It became known as “The Star-Spangled Banner” – the national anthem of the United States of America.




Something Special for 2017

This year’s celebration was held on Saturday,  09  SEP 2017 and included the participation of the US Army Band (TUSAB) – “Pershing’s Own” and the Presidential Salute Battery of the 3d Infantry Regiment – “The Old Guard” It is the oldest infantry regiment in the US Army with origins back to 1784 – America’s First Regiment!

The Presidential Salute Battery of The Old Guard – 3d Infantry US Army was at Fort McHenry for Defenders Day, the video was captured by COL Jason Garkey, Regimental Commander of America’s Regiment … HOOAH! GUNS RUN LONG!

The Star-Spangled Banner celebrated a centennial in 2016,  for it was in 1916 President Woodrow Wilson signed an executive order making it the national anthem of the United States of America.


Here are the words penned by Francis Scott Key:


Defense of Fort M’Henry

O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight
O’er the ramparts we watch’d were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there,
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream,
’Tis the star-spangled banner—O long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore,
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a Country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their lov’d home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with vict’ry and peace may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto – “In God is our trust,”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.



Learn more about Fort McHenry and its history told in historic images.


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Posted in events and History and interesting and military 5 months, 1 week ago at 6:43 am.

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