Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Star-Spangled Banner Defenders’ Day Weekend

199th Anniversary of the Battle of Baltimore

ProRangers Jennifer Pflugfelder, Mark Clarke, Renee Benson, & Jay Copper

ProRangers Mark Clarke, Jay Copper, Jennifer Pflugfelder and I assisted the Fort McHenry staff with the annual Defenders’ Day Event.  Defenders’ Day is a special day in U.S. history because it is the day that American troops defended against British invasion and inspired Francis Scott Key to compose the “Star Spangled Banner” which has since become our national anthem.  We were excited and grateful to be able to work this event.

On Friday our duties consisted of helping to direct the parking of over thirty buses full of eager school children.  We were happy to show the drivers where to park and guide the children to the “check in” point.  Friday was also the day of the 2013 U.S. Mint of America quarter launch which featured Fort McHenry.  Overall, the day progressed very smoothly because everyone from the different divisions communicated effectively and there was a functional incident command system in place.  Mark and Jennifer had the opportunity to assist FOMC staff with the parade that I felt was the highlight of the evening.

Saturday we assisted with additional parking because large numbers of visitors were arriving at the park.  It is imperative that we assist with parking to ensure the safety of park visitors.  After the parking detail, we assisted law enforcement park rangers with access points that were set up throughout the park for pedestrian and vehicle access.  At each point there were K-9 units patrolling and we were able to observe the K-9s in action.  Jay Copper was squad leader and patrolled the rope line to make sure that only authorized personnel entered the fort.  Ending the night was an awe-inspiring fireworks display that lit up the night sky.

It was awesome to be able to work the event for the second time.  This year, I felt that planning improved and a successful event was executed.  Working this event also reassured me that I know I want to pursue my career working as a National Park Service law enforcement ranger.  I was able to utilize the skills that I learned in the academy and I cannot wait to start learning more through experience.  Thank you to everyone at Fort McHenry!

ProRangers Jennifer Pflugfelder & Renee Benson


  1. Your Welcome!! Thanks for all your hard work and willingness to do a little bit of everything! Couldnt have had such a successful event without all of you guys who came!