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Oh, Say Can You See the Stars and Stripes?

Young artists needed to retell a grand old story

It’s a story every American knows. A citizen is held captive on an enemy warship attacking our homeland. The defenders are bombarded; everyone expects the defenses will be overwhelmed and the city overrun. But after a day and a night of battle, the shelling stops, dawn comes and the Stars and Stripes are still flying proudly over Fort McHenry. Baltimore is safe; Frances Scott Key pens a poem destined to become our national anthem.
    The familiar story has special meaning this year, as we approach the 200th anniversary of the battle the British hoped would turn the war of 1812 in their favor.
    In commemoration, the Port of Baltimore and the Pride of Baltimore II challenge Maryland kindergarten through 12th-grade students to make the old story fresh.
    Use words — poems, stories or essays — or pictures — paint, photos, videos; combinations, like comics; dances, dioramas, sculptures. The story is ours, but this retelling is yours.
    Fifteen winners get to sail aboard Pride on Sunday, May 18, for the National Maritime Day commemoration and wreath laying ceremony. Top projects will also be featured on the Pride of Baltimore II website,, where you’ll also get contest rules and submission particulars.
    You’ve got until 5pm on Friday, May 9.