Coast Guard Cutter James Rankin places Francis Scott Key buoy

BALTIMORE – The Coast Guard Cutter James Rankin, a 175-foot buoy tender homeported in Baltimore, set the historic Francis Scott Key buoy in the Patapsco River near the Francis Scott Key Bridge Monday.

The buoy marks the spot where the ship carrying Francis Scott Key, the author of “The Star-Spangled Banner”, was anchored during the bombardment of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812. Each year the buoy is set in the spring marking the historic location of the event and later removed in the fall.

BALTIMORE - The Coast Guard Cutter James Rankin, a 175-foot buoy tender homeported in Baltimore, lifts the Francis Scott Key buoy off the deck in order to lower it to its location in the Patapsco River, May 24, 2010.

The Baltimore Historical Society along with park rangers from Fort McHenry joined the crew of the Rankin, wearing uniforms of that period and providing a narrative of events that occurred that historic day.

The Rankin had 88 visitors attend the event, which included dropping the buoy and a journey to Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine where the American flag was raised.

“It’s an opportunity to take time and recognize the event that inspired our national anthem,” said Lt. Robert Lewald, the commanding officer of the Rankin. “It’s a good thing to do, and it helps us remember who we are.”

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