Famed NBC Today Show weatherman, Al Roker, brought his enthusiastic personality to the Star-Spangled Sailabration to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor amid wild cheers of “Huzzah, Huzzah!” next to the Brazilian tall ship, Cisne Branco.
With the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Band as his musical backdrop, Roker entertained hundreds of visitors with descriptions of the local culture, such as “eating crabs in Baltimore as big as your head,” while performing his duties as the NBC Today Show weatherman.
The Star-Spangled Sailabration is the national launch of the three-year commemoration by the U.S. Navy and the State of Maryland of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 and the penning of “The Star-Spangled Banner” by Francis Scott Key.
“The U.S. Navy took on at the time the most powerful navy in the world and won,” said Roker. “It’s great to be part of the celebration that reinforces democracy on our shores. And you can’t have a Baltimore Star-Spangled Sailabration without being serenaded by the U.S. Navy band. It puts the cherry on top of the nautical sundae.”
Roker interviewed numerous participants during his broadcast weather segments, including Ranger Vincent Vaise of the Fort McHenry National Park Service. Vaise explained that “Huzzah” is what the Americans shouted on the morning of Sept. 14, 1814, when they saw our flag still waving defiantly after a massive British bombardment.
The Bicentennial of the War of 1812 commemorates pivotal engagements in the harbors in Baltimore and Boston, on the Great Lakes, and all along our coasts. The commemoration is also a salute to all sailors and Marines who fought gallantly in that conflict, who served in all of our nation’s conflicts since then and who are defending freedom around the world today.
“It’s significant for us to be here,” said Senior Chief Musician David Kolo of the Navy Band, which is performing at various venues through the week. “The Navy and its fighting spirit was an integral part of the War of 1812. That same spirit is still present with the sailors of today and I’m proud to be a part of it.”
Activities during throughout the week include a colorful spectacle U.S. Navy vessels and tall ships from around the world, ships open for public visiting and shows by the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Team, the Blue Angels.
Story by Petty Officer 1st Class Pasquale Migliaccio
Navy Office of Community Outreach
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