Maryland Day Celebration

Where’s the best place to celebrate the 382nd anniversary of the founding of Maryland?

Try colonial St. Mary’s City. It’s located in Southern Maryland, in St. Mary’s County, not far from Point Lookout. It is considered the birthplace of “religious freedom.”

The “Pride of Baltimore II,” docked Saturday at the pier at historic St. Mary’s. It had made the journey from the Inner Harbor in Baltimore in less than 17 hours. On board was Scott Watkins, a member of the “Society of Colonial Wars of Maryland.” He was dressed in a 17th century costume as Lord Leonard Calvert, first Royal Governor of Maryland. Mr. Watkins carried with him the “Liberty Tree Cross.” It is a wooden cross fashioned from the “roots of a 600-year-old tulip poplar.”

mdday2A replica of the “Dove” was berthed on the other side of the pier. The original “Dove,” had docked here in 1633, with its sister vessel, the “Ark.”

The “Liberty Tree Cross” was later transported from the vessel to the Chapel, on the 600 acre grounds of the historic site, by Mr. Watkins. He had an honor guard acting as his escort. Outside the Chapel, in a huge tent, special tribute was paid to all of the states’ 24 flags, representing Maryland’s 23 counties and Baltimore City. The flag bearers were students from the respective jurisdictions.

Speeches and awards were made by an array of scholars, elected officials and sponsors of the event on a variety of historical subjects dealing with this special occasion – “Maryland Day.”

The popular President of the Maryland State Senate, the Hon. Mike Miller, was one of the speakers. St. Mary’s is one of the counties that he represents in the General Assembly.

Watkins was one of speakers, too. He gave the capacity audience a full historical perspective on the creation of the “Liberty Tree Cross,” and on its significance to this annual event.

This part of the day-long proceedings ended with Mr. Watkins, again with an Honor Guard, carrying the “Liberty Tree Cross,” to the Chapel and placing it on the altar. It was given a blessing by the Rev. William George, S.J.

To learn more about this event and this splendid historic site, go to Historic St. Mary’s City.

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