A veteran reporter and editor takes us on board a Baltimore landmark, the SS John W. Brown, one of two World War II Liberty ships still able to get under way.
'We Play Ships'
Picture an elderly couple sitting at a picnic table at Fort McHenry National Monument in Baltimore Harbor early one morning last September. Of the several dozen people around, the two probably were the only ones old enough to remember the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. I approached them and said, "If you wait here for 15 minutes and look at the end of the North Locust Point pier, you'll see a large World War II ship coming around the corner."
Right on schedule, the ship came into view, the Star-Spangled Banner played on board, and her passengers and crew stood at attention on the starboard side, hands on hearts and faces turned to the fort's own star-spangled banner behind us. As the ship entered the harbor, a city fireboat saluted her with a water spray. The couple was delighted and surprised to see the ship, having heard of her but never having made the short trip into the city from the suburbs to check her out.