JEFF CAPLAN'S MINUTE OF NEWS

Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: The Baltimore Bridge Collapse

Mar 26, 2024, 10:00 PM | Updated: Mar 27, 2024, 11:10 am

Baltimore bridge collapse shown, ship hits bridge...

The crew on the ship issued a "mayday" call before it collided with the bridge, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said. (Baltimore City Fire Department Rescue 1 team via Facebook via CNN Newsource)

(Baltimore City Fire Department Rescue 1 team via Facebook via CNN Newsource)

Editor’s note: This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom.

SALT LAKE CITY — Let me take you on a brief tour through Baltimore.  

On the map, it’s a giant circle. If it was a pie you’d see a slice cut out of it. The slice is the Patapsco River — which begins downtown. It’s a magnificent tourist attraction with malls and restaurants right near the park where the Baltimore Orioles play.  

And from there, as you stare upriver, you’re looking toward Fort McHenry, a flashpoint in the War of 1812. British ships bombarded the Fort for 27 straight hours and — inspired by the American Flag still flying undamaged the next morning — Francis Scott Key wrote a poem called “Defense of Fort McHenry.” A poem that began with the words, “Oh say can you see by the dawn’s early light.”

I thought of that poem and the first words of the anthem this morning when, by dawn’s early light, we saw the wreckage of the Francis Scott Key Bridge — a hundred yards from the very spot Key wrote the anthem. 

By dawn’s early light, divers were using sonar to guide them toward any submerged vehicles. Toward the road crew that was working on the now-decimated bridge. 

212 years before, in the battle of Fort McHenry, four Americans were killed and 24 wounded. And the flag was still there.

In 2024 there’s a marker — a buoy in the colors of the U.S. Flag at the very spot where he wrote the anthem. By dawn’s early light, it too was still there — as was this nightmare for the people of Baltimore. 

Jeff Caplan is the host of Jeff Caplan’s Afternoon News on KSL NewsRadio. Follow him on Facebook and X. 

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Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: The Baltimore Bridge Collapse