Monday, July 12, 2021


Naval Academy Chapel

Rising above the skyline of Maryland's capital city is the landmark defining shape of the United State's Naval Academy's chapel. Its recently restored dome now has a bright copper tone, after decades of weathering had left it with an aged green patina look to it, which can be seen from miles away. Fifty years ago my parents were married here and a few years later I joined the picture.

To mark their 50th wedding anniversary, my parents decided to have a vow renewal ceremony where their marriage started. I wasn't going to miss that so the wife and kids piled into our car with me and we had a summer road trip from Michigan cutting through Ohio and Pennsylvania to Maryland. The weekend turned into not just a celebration of my parent's milestone anniversary but a fun reunion spent with aunts, uncles and cousins from both sides of the family tree that we don't see as much as we'd like to.

United States Naval Academy

The Naval Academy Chapel was a wonderful backdrop for my parents' fiftieth wedding anniversary celebration. I'm sure they were wondering how time flew by so fast as it probably seemed like just yesterday when they made their original vows to one another here. It was nice that the building sported its new cooper coloring giving the chapel a brand new look showing that the structure, like my parents' marriage, has stood the test of time.

Though my wife and I have been married for seventeen years, that seems like a drop in the bucket compared to fifty years. What great role models for demonstrating commitment and cooperation in a relationship. So glad we were able to make the trek to Annapolis to be a part of the celebration.

Parents Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary

Construction of the Naval Academy Chapel began in 1904 with its cornerstone laid by Admiral George Dewey, the only officer in the country's military history to hold the rank of Admiral of the Navy, and the building was completed in 1908. Designed by architect Ernest Flagg, who also created the Singer Building in New York City which for a period of time was the tallest skyscraper in the world, the Naval Academy Chapel, was constructed in the Beaux-Arts style that Flagg's work is renowned for. While midshipmen attending the Naval Academy were required to attend weekly mass at the chapel from 1908 - 1972, which included the time period my father was training to be an ensign there, the structure now is mainly used for weddings and funerals. At 210 feet high, the United States Naval Academy Chapel is a focal point for both the campus grounds as well as the city of Annapolis.

In addition to the United States Naval Academy (established in 1845), Annapolis is home to St. John's College (founded in 1645) and the Maryland State House (built in 1772). Not only has Annapolis been the state capital of Maryland but the city also served for a brief time as the nation's capital at the conclusion of the Revolutionary War. Congress under the Articles of Confederation was seated in the Maryland capitol building from 1783-1784. During this Session of Congress, George Washington personally appeared before the legislature to withdraw his commission as Commander and Chief of the army at the conclusion of the Revolutionary War to dispel concerns about his potentially creating a military dictatorship and the United States ratified the Treaty of Paris which formally ended a state of war with Great Britain and confirmed the independence of this newly formed nation. Much of the 18th and 19th century era architecture still remains in the historic downtown of Annapolis letting visitors step back in time when walking along its streets and through the buildings.

Annapolis Maryland
Annapolis Maryland

In addition to spending time on the grounds of the Naval Academy, we also had a great time spending a weekend hanging out with friends and family in its historic district neighborhoods. The quaint seaside town atmosphere of this place makes it a relaxing spot to get away from the normal hustle and bustle of life. We had a wonderful time stay in Annapolis!

No comments:

Post a Comment