Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Fort McHenry

I really love historical places. I love the idea of walking on cobblestones that have been walked on for nearly 200 years. I got to do that with my kids today at Fort McHenry in Baltimore, MD.

*Only one wrong turn on the way there, which for Baltimore, is pretty dang good (plus, if you ask me, that sign was COMPLETELY misleading :)

*lovely, lush green grounds

*we started off at the visitors center - which actually doesn't have much to see at all, except a pretty well done movie. I was $7 but the kids were free. There was lots of cannon fire and pictures of ships blowing up in the movie, so my boys were INCREDIBLY well behaved for a historical film viewing. Here's the kicker, though. At the end of the film they start playing the Star Spangled Banner. Then the curtains open up on one side of the room and right in front of you is the fort, all grand and majestic and that flag is flying right in the middle of it (not the original, obviously). It was really moving and both S and X stood with their hands over their hearts with me as it played.

*I'd just like to say, related to that: it is a miracle we are not Britons. Really. It was such a slim chance, us winning the War of 1812. When I heard those words "O, say, does that star spangled banner yet wave?" it sounded like a plea - PLEASE, let us still be in that fort - let us prevail and succeed in building this land of the free. Can you imagine waking up that morning on a ship out on the river, trying to see if your country has made it through the night? That song really moved me today.

*My kids rocked it on this trip. I was amazed - they were interested in everything. Forts are just fun places to explore, especially for little history buffs (and war buffs) like I get to cart around. We walked around the ramparts and went down deep into the bomb shelters.

*They loved the jail cells - especially the idea of having to use the bathroom in a bucket :)

*the view from the ramparts is fantastic - all those canons and the river and boats

*they've really made an effort to have exhibits inside the fort too, which my kids really enjoyed. Some of the rooms are set up for guards, others for officers - they magazines are set up too (Sheely thought those barrels were full of REAL gunpowder :)

*If you come out this way, go visit Fort McHenry. They've really made an effort to make it an educational and interesting place to visit.

No comments: