Monday, August 02, 2004

Trip 10


Today we went to Fort McHenry to see the living flag. Some three thousand-school kids were arranged in a pattern to represent the U.S. flag at the time of the War of 1812. This was interesting but more so was the raising of a replica of the Star Spangled Banner. The Park Ranger responsible had asked us to help raise it, so we were happy to comply. Joshua caught the normal flag as it came down, Jonathan and Kevin held the banner while it was being pulled, and I helped hoist it. As you can see, it worked out rather nicely.

The fort itself is interesting. It was built according to the science of the time, in a star shape. The logic behind this was that if one point of the star was attacked, the guns on different parts of the wall could support it. If these points had been circular, like the towers on older walls, their would be a safe spot where only one gun could fire upon the enemy. The armory building looks like an enormous barn. But only 10% of the space in it held munitions. The rest was armor to make sure that the gunpowder did not explode. One thing I noticed when I was there, the fort is so small it did not give the British much of a target, a nice bonus.

Another busy day. But it was the last day there, so my journals now come to an end.