FORT MCHENRY, MARYLAND --– The U.S. Army Military District of Washington joined the National Park Service to commemorate Defenders’ Day, Baltimore's oldest holiday, Defenders' Day, was celebrated in a two day program that took place at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, September 17-18, 2021.
Defenders' Day commemorates the successful defense of the city of Baltimore from an invading British force during the War of 1812. The attack also inspired Francis Scott Key to write a poem in tribute to what he had witnessed; the American flag steadfast, flying over Fort McHenry. When set to music, the poem became known as "The Star-Spangled Banner" and in 1931 was designated as the national anthem of the United States.
During this star-spangled weekend, Soldiers from the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) Commander-in-Chief’s Guard, The U.S. Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, The U.S. Army Drill Team, and The U.S. Army Field Band helped to recreate and celebrate history with their performances.
The dsay also included a swearing-in ceremony, inducting the next generation of American Soldiers into the Army. Twenty-five young Americans took the U.S. Army oath of enlistment, administered by Maj. Gen. Allan M. Pepin, commanding general, Joint Task Force - National Capital Region and the U.S. Army Military District of Washington.
On the historic soil of Fort McHenry, visitors, young and old, joined together to witness the reenactment of history. For more than two-centuries, the walls of Fort McHenry have remained steadfast, withstanding numerous battles, and guarding the American flag in war and peace. Today, the National Park Service administers the area which remains a bastion of freedom and democracy for America.