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One Stitch at a Time for Defenders Day

September 10, 2013

PARKVILLE, MD---Eight residents from Oak Crest, the Erickson Living retirement community, used their love of sewing to be part of history.
The group visited the Maryland Historical Society in Baltimore on August 22nd to participate in the community-wide creation of a 30' x 42' replica of the original Star Spangled Banner.  The project is in conjunction with this weekend's Defenders Day celebration at historic Fort McHenry.
The undertaking was completed over the same six week time period in which Mary Pickersgill, a local flag maker, created the original flag that flew over the fort.  It will be unfurled during the Defenders Day celebration at Fort McHenry from September 13-15.
Defenders Day commemorates the successful defense of the City of Baltimore from a British attack during the War of 1812 and the writing of the "Star-Spangled Banner" by Francis Scott Key.
During the visit to the Maryland Historical Society, each group member sewed a stitch in the flag, a moment that Oak Crest resident Joan Bonthron considered special.
"When we first entered the room, it took your breath away to see how majestic this flag is," noted Mrs. Bonthron.
The residents who participated are passionate sewers, some of whom create quilts for babies at Franklin Square Hospital for the Linus Project.
"I'll always know that my stitch is in the middle of a red stripe," described Mrs. Bonthron.  "It was a wonderful experience to be part of history, and as an American, it brings tears of pride."   The trip was scheduled by Susanne Howard, special trips coordinator at Oak Crest.
More information about the Defenders Day celebration can be found at