Maryland Marks 200 Years of Peace Between the U.S., Great Britain and Canada with Ceremony at Historic Fort McHenry

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From Enemies to Allies: 200 Years of Peace Event Kicks off International Bicentennial Celebration.

Two hundred years later our peoples are no longer at war, but at peace. Two hundred years later, we are still stitched together by the common thread of human dignity, and like the dawn’s early light, we move forward, together.

Gov. Martin O’Malley, Sen. Barbara Mikulski, His Excellency Gary Doer, Canadian Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Sir Peter Westmacott, British Ambassador to the United States, and Secretary of the Navy Raymond Mabus gathered today at historic Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine to mark the 200th anniversary of the US declaration of war against Great Britain, which started the War of 1812. The ceremony, moderated by CBS News broadcaster Bob Schieffer, celebrated the two centuries of peace enjoyed by the three nations since the end of the war in 1815.

“In my early days in community organizing in Fells Point—when we were fighting a highway that would have wiped the harborfront community clean of historic buildings and the people who lived there—our battle cry was ‘The British couldn’t take Fells Point, the termites couldn’t take Fells Point, and the State Roads Commission can’t take Fells Point’,” said Sen. Mikulski. “Fells Point is here today, Baltimore is here today, and we are here today to celebrate this two-century special relationship.”

“On behalf of the people of Baltimore and the people of Maryland, we are honored as a City and as a State to usher in the international bicentennial commemoration of the War of 1812,” said Governor O’Malley. “Two hundred years later, as a legacy of the War, we continue to fly the Stars and Stripes and continue to sing the words written by Francis Scott Key of the Star Spangled Banner. Two hundred years later our peoples are no longer at war, but at peace. Two hundred years later, we are still stitched together by the common thread of human dignity, and like the dawn’s early light, we move forward, together.”

The ceremony occurred as one of the final events of Star-Spangled Sailabration, a weeklong free maritime festival featuring more than 40 tall ships and gray hulls from a dozen nations. Hundreds of thousands of visitors have boarded the vessels, watched the Blue Angels perform and engaged in activities built around the commemoration of the bicentennial of the Star-Spangled Banner and the War of 1812.

“I am honored that Canada and the Royal Canadian Navy were invited to take such an active part in this important celebration of the deep and rewarding relationship between the United States and Canada,” said Ambassador Doer.

“It is an honour to participate in today’s ceremony,” said Ambassador Westmacott. “Today may mark the 200th anniversary of a declaration of war, but we are also celebrating 200 years of peace, prosperity and partnership among the US, UK and Canada that have followed on from the War of 1812 and helped make the world a freer, safer place.”

About Star-Spangled 200, Inc.
Star-Spangled 200, Inc. is the non-profit 501(c) (3) organization that supports the fundraising goals of the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission and is charged with helping to ensure the realization of successful programs, events, and community investment during the three-year commemoration period. For more information visit http://www.starspangled200.com.    

About the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission
Established by Governor Martin O’Malley, the Commission is staffed by the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts. The bicentennial period runs June 2012 through February 2015. It commemorates Maryland’s unique contributions to the defense and heritage of the nation, including the pivotal battle that led to the birth of “The Star-Spangled banner.” For more information visit http://www.starspangled200.org.

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