August 18, 2014 --
This year marks the bicentennial of The Battle of Bladensburg during the War of 1812 and, in commemoration of the battle, Prince George’s County is hosting the free event “Undaunted Weekend” Aug. 23-24. The event will kick-off with the Marine Band performing patriotic music for the dedication of the “Undaunted in Battle” monument at 11 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 23 at Monument Park, located at 4100 Baltimore Ave. and Upshur Street in Bladensburg, Md. Other weekend activities include re-enactments, food trucks, lectures, tours and more.
The defeat of the American troops by the British at the Battle of Bladensburg unfortunately left the road to Washington open as the city had been left relatively unguarded since American leaders did not think the small capital would be a target. The British entered the city and burned several government buildings including the U.S. Capitol, the White House, and the Library of Congress. Historic Marine Barracks and the Home of the Commandants were left untouched, however. According to legend, this was due to British respect for the Marines and their fighting during the Battle of Bladensburg.
Assistant Drum Major Staff Sgt. Steven Williams will lead the band during the concert and ceremony dedicating the monument. “I’m excited that we are a part of this event,” Williams said. “The Marines from Marine Barracks Washington fought at that battle, including some members of the Marine Band.”
While there may have been many members of the Marine Band that fought in the battle, historical records only confirm the names of four musicians: Fife Major Venerando Pulizzi, bugler George Woolgar, and musicians John Goldie and James Kale.
The weekend event is free and open to the public; no tickets are required. Free shuttles and parking will be available from the University of Maryland in College Park (Lot 1/Campus Drive) and the Landover Metro Station (Bus Bay B). Shuttles will transport patrons to and from the Waterfront Park in Bladensburg. Complete details about the event are available at www.undauntedweekend.splashthat.com.