August 17, 2004
I went to Fort McHenry on Saturday, the famous site of the attempted invasion of Baltimore by the British in the War of 1812. The geometrically interesting fort looks like the above model. It's certainly strange to go somewhere like Fort McHenry, where the American national anthem was composed (well, in the water outside, allegedly) and where the fervor of "patriotism" feels so safe. It is strange because of the Right's constant allegations that those who don't always agree with President Bush must therefore hate America. It is strange because it is a reminder that my antipathy toward our current administration comes not from a hatred of our country, but from a love for it. But enough of that. We talk about things like that at the Blog Collective. This is a canon, up close. You can still smell gunpowder on it, if you stick your nose it. Not that I did that, of course. These are three big-giant-guns facing the place where Baltimore's Inner Harbor meets the Chesapeake Bay. Since the Army used the fort up to at least World War I, I am pretty sure those are not the original guns. To be sure, the Union occupied the fort during the Civil War and aimed the guns at Baltimore itself, to prevent an uprising of slave-holders (and some misguided souls call Maryland part of the North!).