Posts Tagged ‘Fort McHenry’

Feel the Love

I went to Baltimore on business in 1992, early in my National Park quest. That was in that tremendously warm-and-fluffy, “the world is SAVED!!!” time in the years after the fall of the Berlin Wall. It was such a great time for this country: the end of Soviet communism, the liberation of eastern Europe, the first time since WWII that America had actually won! We had just kicked Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait in a great victory. Our economy was in good shape, we were the biggest dogs in the neighborhood, and finally, after all those decades, the fear of nuclear annihilation was gone.

It felt everything was going our way. It was great! Now, of course, our country is well, kind of a mess (when crabbyolbastard and I are out for a couple of beers nowadays, the words “it’s all a bag of ass!” cross our lips quite often). But back then, it was a great time to visit America’s Shrine.

Fort McHenry was the spot of inspiration that enabled Francis Scott Key to pen the poem that would become the Star Spangled Banner, our national anthem. Fort McHenry is the only spot in the NPS called a “shrine”, and rightly so. And I have to say, if you’re as “into” this country as I was at that particular time, then McHenry is the place to go. I was downright gooey with patriotic love (um, ewwww!) when I was there. It was terrific. It’s a beautiful spot, right on the bay, great views, stiff ocean breeze, big Stars & Stripes fluttering from a big mast, absolutely marvelous! I need to stop by again next time I drive down I-95.

I want to give a little shout-out to Baltimore. I don’t know what downtown Baltimore is like today, but I was there at what seemed like a great time for the city. Camden Yards was just finished, there were all these great restaurants and pubs (and, even better, brewpubs!) around the harbor. I don’t have any specific memories of my short time there, but the general ones I have are fond. I’d love to hear from Baltimoreans (Baltimorites??) today. What’s the city like? How’s the downtown and the harbor doing? And just how is good, old Fort McHenry?

[I didn’t own a digital camera when I visited Fort McHenry. Heck, digital cameras weren’t even invented yet! Pics are public domain stuff scraped from the National Park Service website.]



Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine

The Fall of Communism in Eastern Europe

Baltimore’s Inner Harbor Neighborhood

Google map to Fort McHenry

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