By Mike Schuh

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The War of 1812 actually lasted two and a half years. Military action here in Baltimore turned the war in favor of the United States.

Mike Schuh reports the establishment of the first public war memorial, located downtown, was honored Tuesday.

Just six months after the War of 1812, the people of Baltimore wanted to remember those killed here during September 1814.

The sculptor of the court of Spain designed a memorial on a spot originally designated for the Washington Monument–but found the site was too small for something so large.

So, at Calvert and Fayette streets, a stone was set.

“This is a really awesome day. We’re marking the 200th anniversary year of the laying of the cornerstone of the Battle Monument,” said Ranger Vince Vaise, National Park Service.

It was such a popular symbol, that a dozen years later, it was incorporated as part of the city’s seal and the city’s flag.

“Since it became the symbol of the city, it’s also known as the Baltimore Monument,” Vaise said.

There are 18 layers in the marble base that represent the 18 states at the time. The column is tied with stone ribbons, listing the names of soldiers who died during the Battle of Baltimore–a battle that led to the National Anthem.

“It’s really Baltimore’s gift to the entire nation–the Star Spangled Banner–and you really see that set in stone right here at the Battle Monument,” Vaise said.

Tuesday, there was a short program honoring the monument, those who built it and those who died for our freedom.

The stone figure atop the monument, nicknamed Lady Baltimore, was removed about two years ago to protect her from wear and tear. A concrete duplicate has now taken her place.