I've lived in Baltimore for almost nine years now, and I had no idea that a historical treasure was a quick 8-minute car ride away from where I live. Our homeschool group went on a field trip to Fort McHenry yesterday, and we had such a blast. It was a beautiful day, too. The sun was out, so it was nice and warm, but a cool steady breeze kept us company the whole time, making it a very pleasant outing.
The wonderful National Park Service Rangers and volunteers made our trip both educational and super-fun. They started by showing our group a short movie about the Defense of Baltimore and the Battle at Fort McHenry during the War of 1812. Then one of the Park Rangers talked to the kids more about the Fort, followed by a guided tour of the star-shaped fort.
Statue of Commander George Armistead
Afterwards we all explored the grounds and the buildings, all the while learning about the great history of Fort McHenry.
Heading into the bomb shelter...
and having fun making loud echoing sounds in the bomb shelter.
The room where they kept all the ordinance....cool!
My son sitting on a bomb...never thought I'd say that without panicking, he he!
Then another Park Ranger brought out a life-size replica of the flag that flew over Fort McHenry the night that Francis Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner. Everyone in the group participated in discussion of why that flag is so significant, and what it still represents today.
This was really a great way to start our school year. Jer and I both learned so much, and we've both gained a much greater perspective of how historically significant our fair city is. It's made us both appreciate it even more. We're both looking forward to exploring more historical landmarks here in Charm City.