Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Fort McHenry Bicentennial, Hampton Dairy Days

The Bicentennial Celebration has had great press coverage and from those I've spoken with, even employees working the incident were able to benefit from the festive spirit. No major visitor injuries or incidents, no staff harmed, and an all-around good time for the public. It sounds like answered prayers for the staff at the fort who have been planning the event since November.

Takeover of British Marine Band

Working the fort while the Blue Angels performed was thrilling for several reasons; the staff's built-up anticipation of the celebration was matched by the crowd's, who spilled in from all over the country and various parts of the world. When the aircrafts finally came in, they slowly appeared during extended intervals of time that taunt the patient spectator. The planes begin by building up the momentum of the show in numbers and with death-defying stunts. Four blue-colored planes shake the earth beneath you and are so loud that they are deafening. In perfect unison, they excel towards the sky and look as if they've vanished, but its not long before they plummet towards the ground. Sometimes they come so close you'll feel the tension of the audience who questions whether they'll stop, as they cut angles and then symmetrically disperse in multiple directions. Just in time.

The smoke from the planes leave shapes reminiscent of the loops of a roller coaster. I met up with my father after the event and he was excited to show me the images of the planes he took. He pointed out one of the Blue Angels and said the plane left a "nine" in the sky over Baltimore. The next day when the Blue Angels performed again, I saw what looked like the tentacles of an octopus in one of their last stunts when I inquired the image prints these planes left behind.

Free Trade!

During the event I worked several different areas of the events: visitor center, buses, checkpoint, ADA checkpoint, gates and the parking lot. People felt so honored to be there that I was being thanked at every turn. Thanked for wearing a uniform that serves their country. I thanked them back because they're part of the whole equation.

 I was also assisting administration with documentation on the last day of the "Star-Spangled Sailabration." I photographed the set-up and activities for the ceremony addressing American-British relations, past and present. 

Family admires my band

News women startled by cannon fire

Obama addresses the fort

Soldiers guard 200 years of peace

Working Hard
The days following the celebration feel much more subdued, especially during Dairy Days at Hampton, where goats and cows were brought in for interpretation programs on dairy making. It was hard work sampling home-made ice cream, playing with calves, four week old kids and the visitor's children, but I'll accept the challenge whenever it arises. The ways Hampton and Fort McHenry compliment one another go unmatched.

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