Nicole Johnson and her two children, Julianna and James, ventured to Baltimore's Pier 12 to learn about the city's robust maritime community, an industry that supports more than 100,000 families throughout the state.
During National Maritime Day in Baltimore, the public got to board an "army boat," see model ships made of Legos and learn about an array of careers tied to the port of Baltimore.
"I wanted them to see something unique," said Johnson, a Parkville resident.
In addition to Bentley, the event attracted politicians currently in office, including Rep. C.A. "Dutch" Ruppersberger, who spoke to the crowd about the role the merchant Marine plays in the fight against terrorism.
Johnson and her family said the day was both entertaining and educational.
Attendees were able to board the NS Savannah, a massive 600-foot ship that is closed to the public every day of the year except during National Maritime Day. The ship, which was built in the 1950s, came to Baltimore in 2008 after it was decommissioned.
The "army boat" made quite an impression on Julianna.
"It's really high up," she said. "When you're walking in, you shouldn't look down."