Freedom Rock Countdown
Wed, 05/09/2018 - 1:02pm admin
—3rd Gun Salute . . . War of 1812
CRESCO - Meet Skip and Mark Grinhaug. Brothers. Veterans. Members of the Freedom Rock and American Legion Post 135.
The Grinhaug brothers know a lot about the War of 1812, noting that at least three people who fought in this war are buried in Howard Cty.
• But, Mark wants to clear up some misinformation about his brother. Skip did not serve during the War of 1812 and did not make these popular sayings famous: “Don’t give up the ship!” was actually the dying words of Captain James Lawrence of the USS Chesapeake as his ship was being taken by the British. And “Old Ironsides” was the nickname of the USS Constitution because at one point, a British sailor saw a cannonball bounce off its side and yelled, “Her sides are made of iron.” (Her sides were made of hard oak wood).
• What Mark does want you to know is that his brother can sing a beautiful rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner. But no, Skip did not know Francis Scott Key, anthem composer, who in a burst of patriotic pride, wrote the Star-Spangled Banner during the War of 1812. (The Star-Spangled Banner was not adopted as the national anthem until 1931).
• Skip reminds us that Uncle Sam (no, not his) was a real person who got his name connected to the U.S. during the War of 1812. Sam, a military supplier, labeled meat rations “U.S.” which supposedly stood for “Uncle Sam” Wilson, who was feeding the army.
• Two more interesting facts about the War of 1812 are that Blackhawk helicopters are named for Black Hawk, a Native American leader who fought for the British in the War of 1812, and the British Navy was the biggest in the world at the time, with more than 600 ships. The U.S. had only 18 sailable ships. No wonder Britain didn’t take the war seriously at first!
• The War of 1812 produced its own Paul Revere, except this folk hero warned the British the Americans were coming. Born in Massachusetts, the daughter of a Revolutionary War patriot, Laura Secord learned of secret American plans to ambush a nearby British outpost near Niagara Falls. Secord hiked through 20 miles of swamps and forest to warn the British and help them retain control of the area. Secord was later recognized as a hero by the Prince of Wales.
Mark and Skip Grinhaug invite you to learn more about the War of 1812 at the dedication of the Howard County Memorial Park featuring the Freedom Rock on June 23, 2018.
[This weekly countdown will feature members of the Freedom Rock Committee and information about military history. The Howard County Memorial Park, with the Freedom Rock as a focal point, is located at the crossroads of Hwy. 9 and 3rd St. West in Cresco.]