Saturday, October 1, 2011
History in the making
Yesterday was a day marked by a little bit of naval history in the making. You had to have been there to really capture the whole of it.
Somewhere around 1530 on Friday, 30 September, the Navy's Cryptologist, Vice Admiral Michael S. Rogers broke his 3 star Flag for the first time when he assumed command of U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. TENTH Fleet at Fort McHenry, Maryland.
Some readers will recall Fort McHenry's historical significance and others are completely unaware. Here's some of it... During the war of 1812, beginning at 6:00 A.M. on September 13, 1814, British warships bombarded the fort for 25 hours. Due to the poor accuracy of the British weapons at maximum range, and the limited range of the American guns, very little damage was done on either side, but the British ceased their attack on the morning of September 14, 1814, and the naval part of the British invasion of Baltimore had been repulsed.
Francis Scott Key, a Washington lawyer who had come to Baltimore to negotiate the release of Dr. William Beanes, a civilian "Prisoner of war", witnessed the bombardment from a nearby truce ship. An oversized American flag had been sewn by Mary Pickersgill in anticipation of the British attack on the fort. When Key saw the flag emerge intact in the dawn of September 14, he was so moved that he began that morning to compose the poem "The Defence of Fort McHenry" which would later be renamed and become the United States National anthem.
Now, how cool is it that VADM Rogers breaks his flag as a 3 star for the first time in this historic place? The 15 gun salute was icing on the cake. It was awe inspiring. It really was.