For Capt. Steve Pope of Mathews, getting the word out about this "hugely important, but hugely forgotten" conflict is his mission. He is serving as the U.S. Coast Guard’s plans and liaison officer for the upcoming multi-event commemoration.
Over the next two years, the bicentennial of this defining moment in American history will take a front seat in Virginia, as the battles, both naval and land, are remembered by the Navy, Coast Guard, Marines and a host of private entities, Pope said.
Among the activities being planned is OpSail 2012 Virginia, a gathering from June 1-12 of an international fleet of naval and tall sailing ships in harbors across Hampton Roads and the Chesapeake Bay.
Over 4,000 international officers, cadets, crew, and dignitaries from 15 nations will participate in parades of sail, ship tours, air shows, and festivals at various regional sites, said Pope. There will be fireworks, food and celebrations, and all the events will be free and open to the public.