The National Park Service (NPS) cares for many sites across the country related to the military experience, including more than 25 battlefields, 14 national cemeteries, and hundreds of memorials and monuments. Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial, Manhattan Project National Historical Park, and other historic sites tell greater story of contributions, sacrifice, and consequences of conflict off the battlefield.
The NPS also recommends a few ways to commemorate veterans at national parks, including:
- Meeting some of the women who contributed to the war effort at California’s Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park;
- Listening to a special recital of the stories of veterans buried in the cemetery at New York’s Paul’s Church National Historic Site;
- Attending an Oath of Enlistment Ceremony for new military recruits in Pennsylvania at Valley Forge National Historical Park;
- Joining a discussion on the story of an African American U.S. Army regiment nicknamed the “Buffalo Soldiers” at Oregon’s/Washington’s Fort Vancouver National Historic Site;
- Watching a firing demonstration in New York at Saratoga National Historical Park from the Revolutionary War through present day; or
- Taking a train ride through Ohio’s Cuyahoga Valley National Park, free to all past and present military, first responders, and their families.
Active-duty military members and their dependents can pick up a free military annual pass at any national park that usually charges a fee. A free lifetime pass is also available to disabled veterans. These passes provide free entrance to more than 2,000 national parks, wildlife refuges, national forests and other federal recreational areas. More information about the passes can be found at www.nps.gov/findapark/passes.htm.
Story courtesy an NPS press release.