Old Ironsides sets sail for the second time since 1881
On Sunday, the ship many people call “Old Ironsides” set sail out of Boston Harbor to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the victory over a British ship during the War of 1812.
The USS Constitution sailed for nearly 20 minutes on its own until it was attached to tugboats and taken to a memorial ceremony at nearby Fort Independence.
Constitution spokesman, Chief Petty Officer Frank Neely, was on the ship during its brief voyage. “This ship is a national icon to us… She’s very special to us. We think she’s very special to the United States,” he said, reports The Associated Press.
According to CNN, the Constitution is the world’s oldest commissioned warship that is still in sailing condition. The ship was built 215 years ago in 1797.
The Constitution received its nickname of Old Ironsides after a short but fierce battle against the British ship, the HMS Guerriere. The Constitution bested the British frigate after a gunfight and collision.
The ship is brought into the harbor by tugboats a few times each year for special occasions, but it rarely sails on its own. Today, it is most often seen as a floating museum.