BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The national anthem has been in the news a lot recently, but every year the song and its connection to Baltimore is remembered on the water.

In late spring, the U.S. Coast Guard places the Francis Scott Key bouy in the Patapsco River off Fort McHenry.

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According to Captain Linda Dahlkemper of the USCG Cutter James Rankin, “on a bouy tender, we’re out putting navigational aids all the time, and it’s nice to put a sort of memorial aid out.”

Every year, a special buoy in placed in the Baltimore Harbor to mark where the ship carrying Francis Scott Key was anchored during the bombardment of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812.

“The Coast Guard here, this will be the 38th year that they’ve dropped this bouy,’ says William Emmerich, a volunteer with Fort McHenry. “Course it took 117 years before it eventually became the national anthem, but it was always in the minds and hearts of Americans.”

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The bouy is lowered into an area where a British war ship once held key prisoner during the bombardment of Fort McHenry and where key wrote his famous poem. For invited guests aboard the James Rankin, it’s a trip not to be missed.

“I love the ceremony, the dropping of the bouy, the Star-Spangled Banner and salute. You don’t see that any more,” Zippy Larson of Baltimore said.

Each spring, the buoy — painted with stars and stripes — is placed in the harbor and then removed in the fall.

The Coast Guard has been marking the location since 1972.

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