6/22/2006–Baltimore, MD–Members of the Maryland Wing of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) played a key role in Flag Day ceremonies on June 14 at the Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine. The program included music, jet flyover, and fireworks.
The festivities started in the evening with the 229th Maryland Army National Guard Band and the presentation of colors by the wing's color guard -- Cadet Master Sgt. Matt Smith, Cadet Tech. Sgt. David Fitch, Cadet Tech. Sgt. Sam Gay, Cadet Airman First Class Jason Dotterweich, and Capt. Jeff Thomas -- from the Glenn L. Martin Composite Squadron.
The program also included a parade of all 50 state flags, which was performed with the assistance of members of the wing's Arundel Composite Squadron -- Cadet Staff Sgt. Nicholas Kestler, Cadet Airman Paul Gulotta, Cadet Charles Gulotta, Cadet Sean Foley, Cadet Airman Kaitlyn Walker, Cadet Airman Tim Eisher, Maj. Tim Strickland, Capt. Scott Harris, and 1st Lt. Jack Foley.
There were also speeches from Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich, Baltimore Mayor Martin O’Malley, and U.S. Rep. Benjamin Cardin (D-Md.).
Fort McHenry became famous in the War of 1812 when the British bombarded the fort on September 13, 1814 from ships outside of Baltimore harbor in the Patapsco River. The fort's defenders held firm, and Baltimore was saved.
It was the defense of the fort by American forces that inspired 35-year old, poet-lawyer Francis Scott Key to write the poem that was to become the national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner." In 1931 Congress passed legislation that made "The Star-Spangled Banner" the official national anthem.
In 1925 Fort McHenry was made a national park, and it was transferred to the care of the National Park Service in 1933. Fort McHenry was redesignated a National Monument and Historic Shrine in 1939. It is the nation's only Historic Shrine.
Assistance for the program was also provided by CAP's Middle East Region Honor Guard, which helped with setting up, the VIP reception, VIP escorting, the Parade of Flags, wreath laying, taps, rifle performance, coordination behind the stage area, and distribution of box lunches. Cadets were Cadet Lt. Col. Nick Smith, Cadet Lt. Col. Kristin Berry, Cadet Lt. Col. Grace Stapf, Cadet 2nd Lt., Ben Parrish, Cadet 2nd Lt. Thomas Tippett, Cadet 2nd Lt. Barak Martin, Cadet Master Sgt. Jeff Remsburg, Cadet Senior Master Sgt. Jason O'Neil, Cadet Master Sgt. Stephanie Gonzales, and Cadet Airman First Class Gerry Brown-McDaniel. All are from the wing's Hagerstown Composite Squadron, except for Lt. Stapf from the Mt. Airy Composite Squadron, Master Sgt. Gonzales from the Germantown Flight, and Airman First Class Brown-McDaniel from the National Capitol Wing. Coordination was provided by Lt. Col. Patricia Gaylin, Maj. Meredith Phares, Maj. Michael Phares, 1st Lt. Rose Reeder, and Senior Members Thomas and Jeannie Tippett. The Honor Guard project officer is Lt. Col. Johnnetta "Jett" Mayhew.
The Maryland Wing's director of cadet programs is Capt. Joseph Winter.
The Baltimore Post Office, in conjunction with the theme of honoring veterans, presented the newly released Purple Heart stamp during the program.
CAP, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with more than 60,000 members nationwide. CAP volunteers perform 95 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and also perform homeland security, disaster relief and counterdrug missions at the request of federal, state, and local agencies.
Members take a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to the almost 25,000 young people currently participating in the CAP Cadet Program. CAP's cadet programs provide young men and women with a safe and motivating environment in which to grow and explore opportunities in the military and aviation industries. Cadets progress through a 16-step program of leadership and aerospace education. CAP has been performing missions for America for more than 63 years.
There are approximately 1,300 members of CAP in Maryland. Last fiscal year wing members flew 34 search and rescue missions and were credited with 23 finds.
For information about the Maryland Wing of CAP, visit http://mdcap.org/ or listen to weekly episodes of "Civil Air Patrol Today" broadcast every Sunday morning on the following radio stations:
In addition, programs may be listened to at the Maryland Wing web site at http://mdcap.org/radio/ and can also be subscribed to as a podcast.
Maryland Wing Public Affairs also offers an e-mail alert system for news releases. When news breaks, a subscriber receives an automatic e-mail with a summary of the news release and a link back to the story on the MDWG web site. Signing up for e-mail news alerts is easy. Just go to: http://mdcap.org/?fuseaction=newsalert.form and fill in your e-mail address.