Fort McHenry, National Monument and Historic Shrine

fort mchenry flag

My wife and I visited Fort McHenry for the first time in many, many years.

We went to get lifetime passes to national parks before the price increases. The price for senior’s lifetime park pass goes from $10.00 to $80.00 on 28 August 2017. Seniors, take advantage of this great deal.

Passes in hand, we did a walking tour of the fortifications that make up the Fort. The first thing I noticed were the signs of the reconstruction work. The signs reminded us that our pass fees help pay for the work.

We noticed a crowd gathered along the walkway to the base of the fortifications. Closer, we heard a guide dressed in uniform describing the actions of a cannon crew. The crew went through the processes in cleaning the barrel of obstructions, cooling the barrel with a swab, and other preparations through and including mimicing discharging the cannon.

cannon demonstration

We watched the cannon crew demonstrate the process twice and we prepared to leave. Then the crew changed the demonstration. They dropped a blank shot into the barrel, rammed it home, and fired the cannon. It shocked some of the observers by how loud it was.

The first stop inside the fortification was picture time of the mast flying a 32-foot by 40-foot flag. This was the size of the flag flown on the morning Francis Scott Key wrote the national anthem.

We didn’t tour the buildings but climbed to a point on the fortifications where we could take selfies with the Key Bridge in the background.

Reacquainted with this monument and historic shrine, we think it would make a great day trip. Besides the fortifications, there is a grand expanse of green lawn and benches line the walkway fronting the harbor. This is a place to enjoy the day while viewing a piece of history.

Visit Fort McHenry to learn about a major moment in history. #mywana #nationalparks #ontheporch… Click To Tweet

Do you have your national parks pass? Would you use it to visit Fort McHenry? Tell me using the comment form.

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