BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Star-Spangled Spectacular celebration holds a special ceremony on the exact anniversary of the birth of the national anthem.

Tracey Leong has the story.

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Hundreds came out to Fort McHenry for the flag commemoration–all to witness the recreation of a historical moment.

A replica of the original flag was raised to the tune of “Yankee Doodle,” recreating the moment that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the national anthem.

Described as a surreal moment, the weather, even the timing at dawn’s early light, matched what happened at Fort McHenry 200 years ago.

“Many people have worked and given their lives, either through work or through duty, that they built this wonderful country. And I’m just really glad to live here,” said Penny Larson.

Each branch of the United States armed forces also paid tribute.

“All the men and women that have served this country, have fought for this country, have died for this country. It’s a very proud feeling to wear this uniform and to represent here,” said Sgt. Kristina Cabral, U.S. Army.

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To have your American flag flown at Fort McHenry is an honor people can experience all year, but to do it on the anniversary of when the Star-Spangled Banner was written is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

During the commemoration, General Colin Powell read one of the four stanzas of the Star-Spangled Banner and Governor Martin O’Malley led the crowd in singing the national anthem.

“It reminds me of my own parents bringing me here as a boy. And indeed, all the little boys and girls that are coming here now, they’re really the future of our country,” the governor said.

For many, exceeding expectations. Some were brought to tears. It was a moment worth rising for.

“I was a little tired. But, well, once-in-a-lifetime? You just have to do it,” said Andrew Pippen.

A common thread binding 1814 with Sunday — both flags that saw the dawn’s early light were created right here in Baltimore.

The Star-Spangled Spectacular continues this week. For a list of events, click here.

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