BALTIMORE (WJZ) —  Two important pieces of American history are brought together for the first time. It is a very special exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History that may never happen again.

Linh Bui reports on why this is so meaningful.

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Two symbols of America together for the first time are drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors.

“It’s a goosebumps kind of occasion to put these two icons together because they are so meaningful to Americans and so meaningful to American history,” said Burt Kummerow, the president of the Maryland Historical Society.

It’s the stars and stripes that flew over Fort McHenry during the War of 1812 and the words Francis Scott Key jotted down, which became our national anthem. The display kicks off celebrations marking the 200th anniversary of the Star-Spangled Banner.

On Key’s original manuscript, you can see the words he crossed out. It’s usually housed at the Maryland Historical Society in Baltimore. But now it’s side-by-side with the Star-Spangled Banner.

“The public gets to come in and hopefully be inspired, to hopefully understand more about the words that Key wrote and the inspiration for those words, which is the flag,” said curator Jennifer Jones of the National Museum of American History.

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Jim Martine came from Seattle, and this is the number one thing he wanted to see.

“It was a very patriotic moment. And I think everybody should see it and understand what it’s all about,” said Martine.

It’s something you may never see again.

“It’s a once in a lifetime experience,” Kummerow said.

You still have some time to check it out. The display will be open until July 6 and then the manuscript returns to Baltimore.

For more information about commemoration events around Baltimore this summer, click here.

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Linh Bui