PUT-IN-BAY, Ohio - Ohio Gov. John Kasich was the keynote speaker today during a bicentennial program on the grounds of Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial attended by several hundred people.
He heralded the "remarkable" relationship between the United States and Canada and the courage and sacrifice of those who fought in the Battle of Lake Erie 200 years ago.
He said he believed the American victory had something to do with "destiny."
"I think America has a special destiny and Ohio, by the way, plays a role in the destiny of America. We're playing a role right now as we show many parts of the country how to pull ourselves out of a near depression and begin to grow and generate prosperity in our state," the governor said.
Mr. Kasich also paid tribute to victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the anniversary of which occurs Wednesday.
Multiple ships, led by the U.S. Brig Niagara, journeyed to the Battle of Lake Erie site earlier today. Four vessels carried wreaths to drop in the water about four miles northeast of West Sister Island to commemorate the somber battle date.
On board the Good Time I, passengers lathered on sunscreen and snapped photographs as they readied for several sunny, hot hours on Lake Erie.
Several wore T-shirts that read "Don't give up the ship" -- words immortalized on the flag Commodore Perry took with him when he transferred command to the Niagara.
The Rev. Jim Peiffer of Catawba Island boarded the Good Time for the wreath laying ceremony. A local history buff, he was also on a tall ship during the Labor Day re-enactment of the battle.