Happy belated 4th of July! This month we do lots of celebrating: our country’s independence, many birthdays of friends and family members, and anniversaries — especially the wedding anniversary of “Our Dad” and “Our Mom.” But enough about them, let’s get to an exciting flag visit and wish a happy 200th Anniversary to the start of a little event in 1812 that changed our nation. The most cherished perk of that event? The Star Spangled Banner by Francis Key Scott.
On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
Happy Anniversary to the War of 1812!
Boston recently celebrated the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 during it’s Fleet Week where many naval ships from the US and countries beyond gathered. On July 4th, the USS Constitution, America’s Ship of State, took part in the special celebrations with a 19-gun salute in Boston Harbor in a patriotic display of heritage, dedication to naval traditions and promise for the future of our armed forces. Our Dad’s Flag recently visited this esteemed vessel and our family is thrilled to report on it.
CDR Matthew J. Bonner, USN, is the 72nd Commanding Officer of the USS Constitution. Our Dad’s Flag paid him a visit on board the awesome naval ship and we are privileged for this honor. During his Naval career, CDR Bonner has deployed numerous times and his own family is quite familiar with the honor of hanging a blue star service flag. As the Commander wrote in his letter to our children, “… (the flag) is a reminder of the sacrifices made not only by the service member but also those who remain at home.”
Our thanks to CDR Matthew J. Bonner and crew for their incredible support of our family project in patriotism. We thank them and all the branches of the armed forces for their service oe’r the land of the free and keeping the US as the home of the brave.
Old Ironsides – An Oldie but a Goodie
According to the official website of the USS Constitution, it is the world’s oldest commissioned warship afloat, whose purpose is to promote the United States Navy and America’s naval heritage through educational outreach, public access and historic demonstrations, in port and underway. Known as Old Ironsides for it’s durability through many battles, visit their site and read more for an incredibly comprehensive history on the ship and it’s numerous battles, along with it’s extensive restoration and visit USS Constitution Museum .
The USS Constitution played an early victory role in the War of 1812 when it took on the HMS Guerriere, a British frigate. The Constitution was making way through the British shipping route when it encountered the Guerriere. It was a gun-to-gun battle with the Constitution strong-arming the British ship that had less guns. They exchanged broadside shots along with musket fighting and under the command of Captain Issac Hull and Commodore John Rodgers the Constitution – later nicknamed Old Ironsides – fouled the Guerriere and victory was theirs.
This is just one of the victories that the USS Constitution was involved in. For additional history the Naval History & Heritage Command. (Above painting by Anton Fischer, from the collection of the U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph. All other photos courtesy of CDR Matthew J. Bonner, USN.)
Need More War?
Uh, of course not . . . let us rephrase that: need more on the War of 1812? Perhaps an introduction or a refresher? There’s really no compact nutshell to sum up the events of the War of 1812 but here goes: it was started by our rookie colony-based nation fed up with high seas bully tactics used by the very large, very strong naval fleet belonging to Great Britain. Meanwhile, the Brits were busy being bothered by a lil’ French pest named Napoleon Bonaparte and both sides had stirred up some maritime mayhem by restricting trade, e.g. supplies from the US. Borders were at risk as the British ruled Canada. The British anticipated spread into western territories on the American agenda so Native Americans were encouraged to resist their efforts. The numerous campaigns of the “small” war wrapped up two and a half years later.
Lots More to Come!
We are pleased that so many folks have climbed aboard our patriotic project. We have so many great flag visits coming up so you might need to keep a look out for more than one per week. We’ll be catching up now that Our Dad is done with his leave and back in Afghanistan, 6 months down, 6 more to go. Thanks for reading and we look forward to some more nautical visits by giving you a guiding light and maybe a goldfish too… (both good hints!) and then…we’ll have some of Olympic proportions and maybe some West Coast representation!
Thanks for reading about the travels of Our Dad’s Flag! If you enjoy it share it.