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News Opinion Readers Respond

Fort McHenry and the banner that still waves

After reading this week's criticism of how the National Park Service and the Fort McHenry administration have been dealing with the constraints of sequestration, I would remind critics that despite the site's obvious attraction to runners, walkers and others, Fort McHenry is not primarily a recreational site ("Fort McHenry bungles the sequester," June 5).

It is instead one of the most important historical and educational centers in the nation, and those charged with its stewardship work very hard to provide living history at the only officially designated Historic Shrine among the nation's 401 national parks and monuments.

Recently, through the combined efforts of both the public and private sectors, a new historic boat tour was inaugurated from the Fort McHenry dock to provide yet another perspective on the defense of Baltimore during the War of 1812 and the poem that became our National Anthem.

The sequestration has bitten deeply into the financial assets of virtually all government agencies, and, yes, the operating hours at Fort McHenry have been shortened. Under the circumstances it was the wisest course to pursue.

But the history is still there for all to see — a study of the essence of the American spirit and character under a flag that still waves.

Alan Walden, Baltimore

The writer is chairman emeritus of the Friends of Fort McHenry.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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