Monday, October 28, 2013

History Revisited...and the Band, of course!

Our visit to Fort McHenry was one of the most interesting things we did during her trip. I'd been there before, once when Veronica was here visiting, in December I think...because it was super cold and windy and we pretty much ran from building to building freezing our butts off.  This time we took our time, weather was lovely, and really got a good look.  

Do you know the significance of the place? It's where Francis Scott Key saw the Flag and was inspired to write the Star Spangled Banner.  Yup, the place and time...and the STORY behind it all is so interesting.  

The day we visited was just a few days after the 199th anniversary! So you got year, September 14th, you know where we'll be...on the 200th anniversary!

I should also mention that we went to Fort McHenry the day BEFORE the Government shut down...good timing huh? 

 Mom and Mike by the armory...those are 15 foot thick walls to protect the ammo.
 O' say can you see...

We also took a tour of the Naval Academy! We were lucky enough to get there for the tour that included the Noon Day Commencement. All the Midshipmen gather (marching of course) in the court yard, with the band playing and all, and then march into the dining hall.  Can you believe the eat every meal together? 4500 Midshipmen!

Our tour guide told us to watch for men and women in different color/style uniforms because they are visiting students of other military academies from around the world.
I've taken this tour when Mike's folks visited earlier in the year but it was Commissioning Week, so there was a lot of activity going on and all the families visiting. This tour was a lot different.  We saw more and didn't have to work around stuff going on on campus. Did you know that John Paul Jones is buried on campus? He's the American sailor who during the American Revolution is famous for saying, "I have not yet begun to fight." 
"Don't give up the ship!" was the dying command of Captain James Lawrence on the USS Chesapeake in the 1813 battle just north of Boston. 

This time on her trip, we actually got to see a band competition!
The kids competed at the Navy-Marie Corps Stadium in their first US Bands competition.  That's Joey in front with the Tenor.

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