Ohio celebrates bicentennial of Battle of Lake Erie victory - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Ohio celebrates bicentennial of Battle of Lake Erie victory

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It was 200 years ago on Tuesday that cannons fired on the waters in the Battle of Lake Erie.

It was a battle over control of the Great Lakes and a victory that made Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry a national hero.

The clash between the U.S. and British fleets is considered a turning point in the War of 1812. The 200th anniversary ceremony celebrated the history that happened in our own backyard.

September 10, 2013 marks two centuries since Commodore Perry captured a British fleet near Put-in-Bay during the battle that's remembered for his command, "Don't give up the ship."

"America needed a victory. It needed a lift," says Ohio Governor John Kasich, the keynote speaker at the Battle of Lake Erie Bicentennial ceremony at Put-in-Bay on Lake Erie's South Bass Island.

Hundreds honored the victory this day in history at the 300-foot tall Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial.

"It's just cool to be a huge part of history," says Alyssa Diaz, a 5th grader from Port Clinton.

2nd through 5th graders from Immaculate Conception School in Port Clinton enjoyed an education field trip.

"I do know that Commodore Perry was in the lead of the ships and I thought that it was really cool that if we didn't win the battle we'd have a different accent," says Garett Hirt, a 5th grader.

"We've learned a lot about it in music because we had to come here and play the bells," says Diaz.

Last week a fleet of tall ships gathered in the open waters to re-enact the Battle of Lake Erie.

It was one of the biggest naval battles during the War of 1812.

The U.S. and British were fighting for control of the Great Lakes, which meant control of shipping and the movement of troops and supplies.

It was the first ever U.S. Naval victory over the Royal Navy.

"How does a rag tag team of sailors move from one disabled vessel to another to inflict damage on the greatest fleet that the world had known? I think it happens to be something about destiny," says Kasich. "The destiny of America."

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