BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter William Tate set the historic Francis Scott Key Memorial Buoy in the Patapsco River near the Francis Scott Key Bridge on Wednesday.

The 2022 commissioning of the buoy marks the 42nd spring setting of the star-spangled buoy by a Coast Guard cutter, according to the military service. It became a formal duty for the service in 1980.

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It commemorates the citizens and soldiers who endured the siege of Baltimore, Lt. Corey Engle, the commanding officer of the William Tate, said. 

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The buoy marks the approximate location where Key witnessed the bombardment of Fort McHenry in 1814 from an American truce ship, service officials said. 

Following the Battle of Baltimore, Key watched as someone raised Fort McHenry’s large garrison flag over the ramparts, which inspired Key to write lyrics that would later become the U.S. national anthem.

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The buoy, which sits between the Francis Scott Key Bridge and Fort McHenry, is set each summer and removed just before the winter. The buoy has been an attraction for boaters and tourists for decades, according to service members.