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Stately under sail, Constitution evokes awe

Winds carry ship past Castle Island

As thousands of onlookers cheered from Castle Island in South Boston, the USS Constitution sailed under its own power Sunday for just the second time in 131 years, marking the 200th anniversary of the battle that earned it the nickname Old Ironsides.

“It’s a twice-in-a-lifetime opportunity, sailing on her own power,” said Bob Pound, 48, of Quincy, referring to 1997, the last time the USS Constitution sailed on its own. That occasion was for the 200th anniversary of the ship’s commissioning.

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