Last October The American Legion National Executive Committee passed Resolution 48, which calls for promoting the establishment of March 3 of each year as a national day of observance for the "Star-Spangled Banner." In an effort to get our voices heard in Congress, the Legion reached out to U.S. Sen. Benjamin Cardin of Maryland, seeking his leadership for congressional action on the matter. And on Feb. 29, Sen. Cardin announced he will introduce a resolution that will commemorate the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, and celebrate the heroism displayed by Americans during what is often referred to as the "Second War of Independence."
It was during the 1814 bombardment of Fort McHenry in Baltimore that Francis Scott Key was inspired to write "The Star-Spangled Banner," the poem that would eventually be set to the tune of a popular British song and become the national anthem of the United States by a congressional resolution on March 3, 1931.
Cardin’s announcement on the Senate floor was viewed from the gallery by a supportive audience of Maryland Legionnaires, as well as by Joseph Caouette, the Legion’s Americanism chairman. During his speech, Cardin discussed the importance of the American flag, his pride in the role that Maryland played in the War of 1812, and the Senate resolution itself, which also encourages organizations to host events that commemorate the war’s anniversary.
"As we recognize all of these ongoing efforts during this commemorative period, I encourage all Americans to remember the sacrifice of those who gave their lives to defend our nation’s freedom and democracy, and to join in the bicentennial celebration of our victory in the War of 1812," Sen. Cardin said in his speech.
Along with the resolution, Sen. Cardin has been involved in other legislative efforts aimed at commemorating the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. Cardin and U.S. Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) sponsored legislation that created a gold and silver coin, symbolizing the war. The U.S. Mint will begin selling the coins on March 5. All proceeds go to the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission to help fund bicentennial celebration activities.
Additional co-sponsors of the resolution include Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio), John Kerry (D-Ma.), Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and Carl Levin (D-Mich.).