U.S. Navy Lt. Mark Tedrow wasn’t sure what direction his military career would take when he entered the Naval Academy in 2000.
That all changed during a single moment a decade ago as he looked up over the skies of Annapolis and saw the Blue Angels flying over him for the first time.
“I was just coming out of a convenience store and I saw a shiny blue jet get the attention of everyone and I knew right then and there I wanted to be a Blue Angel,” he said.
Tedrow, who has more than 1,300 flight hours and 212 carrier arrested landings, accomplished that goal in September.
The 2004 Naval Academy graduate will also be among the pilots in the air June 16 and 17 over Fort McHenry when the iconic naval flight demonstration squadron performs in Baltimore as part of the Star-Spangled Sailabration, the state’s bicentennial celebration of the War of 1812.
During its stay in Baltimore, the Blue Angels squadron will be based at Martin State Airport. The squadron was at the Middle River air facility Thursday to conduct familiarization flights in advance of the air show and to help promote the event.
“This is an historic event to perform over Fort McHenry to show how far we have come from the days of tall ships to flying the most advanced jets painted with that shiny blue paint,” Tedrow said
Along with the show at Fort McHenry, county and state officials also announced that the Blue Angels would be among the aircraft included in an aviation open house at Martin State Airportduring that week.
“We can’t be more excited to take part in this bicentennial celebration,” said U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Todd Royals, who is also with the Blue Angels. “I’m confident that this is going to be such a spectacular event here in Baltimore that we will have people travel from all over the country and world to say they were part of the Star-Spangled Sailabration.”
Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz said the bicentennial celebration is expected to bring hundreds of thousands of visitors to the region and will provide economic stimulus through increased hotel bookings, restaurant reservations, along with increased spending at local stores.
Equally important, Kamenetz said, the celebration allows the Baltimore region to reflect on the key role the area played in the conflict, which provided the inspiration for our National Anthem.
“Without the bravery of those Americans who defended our shores particularly those on the fields of North Point in Baltimore County and Fort McHenry in Baltimore City we clearly would not be the country we are today.”