Unlimited Access. Try it Today! Your First 10 Days Always $0.99
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
Related Content
  • No excuse for reduced Fort McHenry hours
    No excuse for reduced Fort McHenry hours

    It's summer again and the new hours for Fort McHenry were posted on the fort's gate, and guess what? The hours are from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Does that surprise anyone? It does me. Last year's hours were from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. I inquired why the significant change, and I got the infamous word,...

  • A better way for Ft. McHenry to handle the sequester
    A better way for Ft. McHenry to handle the sequester

    Fort McHenry has a two-fold function. One, it's an historical landmark that is preserved by the National Park Service. Two, its a public park that offers open space with a great waterfront location. Those of us in the downtown, Federal Hill and Locust Point areas frequent the park, many on a...

  • BCCC is adapting to boost students' job prospects

    Like the Baltimore Sun, Baltimore City Community College (BCCC) commends the Abell Foundation for its recently released examination of why so few city high school graduates pursue employment opportunities in high-demand jobs that don't require a four-year college degree ("Tickets to success,"...

  • Exchange still doing its job
    Exchange still doing its job

    Deep in The Sun's article about the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange's use of federal money ("Health signup billing faulted," March 27), is the terrific fact that the uninsured rate in Maryland has dropped from 12.9 percent to 7.3 percent thanks to the Affordable Care Act.

  • Business as usual on Obamacare exchange audit
    Business as usual on Obamacare exchange audit

    Regarding your story that Maryland overbilled the U.S. through its insurance exchange ("Audit says Maryland overbilled federal government $28.4M in health exchange launch," March 27) what else is new?

  • Officers Friendly and Kind
    Officers Friendly and Kind

    Recently my parents were involved in a traffic accident on their way to BWI. One of the witnesses was a police officer from another jurisdiction who tended to my parents and called Baltimore County police to the scene.

  • Respect for Sons of Confederate Veterans, too
    Respect for Sons of Confederate Veterans, too

    I cannot argue that the Confederate Battle Flag has been used by hate groups as a symbol, but do not forget that the Stars and Stripes and the Christian Cross have also been used extensively by the Ku Klux Klan ("Wavering on the Confederate flag," March 23).

  • Why should I be taxed to subsidize polluters?
    Why should I be taxed to subsidize polluters?

    I have always acted in an environmentally sound way in how I treat rainwater. I have never owned a house where rain water left my property. Why should I be taxed to subsidize polluters ("Miller storm-water fee bill advances in Senate," March 19)?