The last time this many tall ships assembled in Lake Erie, Commodore Oliver Hazard Perryâ??s fleet of American vessels took on the British in the War of 1812.
On Labor Day, 2013, 17 of the ships arrived from around the world to recreate this battle fought almost exactly two centuries ago.
As Bert Rogers, the Executive Director of Tall Ships America, told WNWO, â??Weâ??re celebrating America. Weâ??re celebrating our history.â??
Commodore Perryâ??s flagship, Lawrence, exchanged fire with the British vessel Detroit just before noon on Sept. 10, 1813.
Two-and-a-half hours later, Lawrence had been left a wreck, most of the crew had been wounded.
Perry and four sailors rowed a longboat to the undamaged Niagara, which had hung back, either by mistake of for lack of courage of its commander.
Perry ordered Niagara to broadside the battle-scarred British fleet. The British ships surrendered by 3:00PM.
Perry sent Washington the famous message: â??We have met the enemy and they are ours.â??
Rogers says, â??Thereâ??s no question that war is hell. But we have subsequently carried on a history of peace with Canada that is remarkable thing in the world. To see our Stars and Stripes flying in that context today gives us all something to be proud of.â??