The U.S. Navy's oldest commissioned warship will sailed under its own power for just the second time in more than a century to commemorate the battle that won it the nickname "Old Ironsides."
The USS Constitution, which was first launched in 1797, was tugged from its berth in Boston Harbor on Sunday to the main deepwater pathway into the harbor. It then set out to open seas for a 10-minute cruise.
The short trip marks the day two centuries ago when the Constitution bested the British frigate HMS Guerriere in a fierce battle during the War of 1812. It follows a three-year restoration project and is the first time the Constitution has been to sea on its own since its 200th birthday in 1997.
Before that, it hadn't sailed under its own power since 1881. The Constitution is periodically tugged into the harbor for historical display.
Chief Petty Officer Frank Neely, a Constitution spokesman and crew member, said the crew wants to honor and preserve the Constitution with Sunday's sail.
"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.