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Guns will be silent

July 04, 2002|by KATE COLEMAN

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" has been a traditional and popular part of the Maryland Symphony's annual Salute to Independence at Antietam National Battlefield for many years.

The rousing music has been enhanced by the backdrop of the evening sky and the on-cue booming of the guns of the Maryland National Guard's Battery B, 2nd Battalion 110th Field Artillery.

The MSO will play the music, but the artillery will not be at the historic Sharpsburg battlefield this year.

The unit has been activated to support the nation's war on terrorism. Members have been mobilized as part of the Military District of Washington's "Operation Patriot Thunder."

The Maryland National Guard has a long and proud history, drawing its lineage back to the Revolutionary War - supporting George Washington's retreat from Long Island.

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The unit's ancestors fought in the Mexican-American War and on both sides of the Civil War. Its citizen soldiers have formed the bulk the U.S. Army's 29th Infantry Division, fighting decisively in World War I and assaulting Omaha Beach on D-day in June 1944.

The unit will be protecting Mid-Atlantic military installations - just as they defended the nation's capital and the city of Baltimore in 1812, says Capt. Charles S. Kohler, Maryland National Guard spokesman.

"Once again history repeats itself."

- Kate Coleman

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