Harrisburg – Governor Tom Corbett and First Lady Susan Corbett today served as Grand Marshalls of Tall Ships® Erie Parade of Sail. The event began four days of events marking the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Lake Erie.
The Flagship Niagara led nine tall ships from around the country and the world into Presque Isle Bay as Erie marks the bicentennial of the battle that was the turning point in the War of 1812.
During the battle, Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry of the U.S. Navy and his crew of the Niagara defeated the British fleet near Put-in-Bay, Ohio. This victory gave the United States control of the Great Lakes and secured the young nation’s western frontier.
“As we stand here today with the Flagship behind us, we are reminded of the great sacrifices of Oliver Hazard Perry and his crew,” Corbett said. “If not for their bravery and sacrifice, the war would have turned out much differently. Their victory allows us to stand on the shores of Lake Erie, united as Americans and as proud Pennsylvanians.”
The rallying cry of the battle was inspired by a simple flag bearing the words “Don’t Give up the Ship.” Two hundred years later, it remains the unofficial battle cry of the U.S. Navy.
“Remembering our past is very important to understanding our present,” First Lady and Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commissioner Susan Corbett said. “The Battle of Lake Erie may have been 200 years ago, but the ideals of freedom and liberty that our sailors fought for still ring true today.”
Tall Ships® Erie is expected to bring more than 60,000 people to the region over the course of four days. A re-enactment of the battle was held on Sept. 2 in Put-in-Bay, Ohio.
For more information, visit www.pa.gov.
Media contact: Kirsten Page, 717-425-1059
Editor’s Note: The ships taking part in the Parade of Sail are listed below:
• Flagship Niagara - Erie, PA
• Pride of Baltimore II - Baltimore, MD
• Unicorn - Bridgeport, CT
• St. Lawrence II - Kingston, ON
• Sorlandet - Kristiansand, Norway
• Lynx - Portsmouth, NH
• Peacemaker - Brunswick, GA
• Appledore IV - Bay City, MI
• Friends Good Will - South Haven, MI
• Hindu – Provincetown, MA and Key West, FL