Sunday, November 09, 2008

Honoring America’s Veterans In The National Parks

Americans have always answered their country’s call to duty and fought no matter what the cause or reason for the war. The events of these wars and the people that fought and died for this country are valued by all Americans as links to our common heritage and our growth as a nation. Many of the places where they fought are today commemorated in areas managed by the National Park Service.

All military personnel, past and present, and their families will receive free admittance to any of the country’s 391 National Park Service sites on Tuesday, November 11th, in honor of Veteran’s Day. The fee waiver applies to entrance fees only. Normally, 147 National Park Service sites charge entrance fees ranging from $3 to $25. Some parks might also waive other fees on an individual basis. Veteran’s Day and National Public Lands Day in September are the only two days when entrance fees are waived nationwide. The administrative fee waiver of entrance and/or standard amenity fees is applied annually on Veterans Day at public recreation lands managed by Interior’s National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation and Agriculture’s U.S. Forest Service.

“I invite everyone to visit our many national parks that preserve and commemorate the sacrifices and achievements of the men and women who have fought in America’s wars,” said Director Bomar. “On Veteran’s Day, and every day, what better way to learn about the hallowed places preserved in the National Park System and to honor the sacrifices of our veterans, than by visiting a national park.”

The National Park Service has the honor of preserving many battlefields, military parks, and historic sites that commemorate and honor the service of American veterans. The ideals and freedoms they fought for are remembered throughout the National Park System in areas as diverse as King’s Mountain National Military Park in South Carolina, Fort McHenry National Monument in Maryland, Appomattox Court House National Historical Park in Virginia, Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania, USS Arizona Memorial in Hawaii, Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Site in Texas and Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument in Montana. National parks preserve and commemorate these sites of historical significance in the on-going growth of this nation as part of its core mission to preserve important cultural resources.

By logging onto the “Honor America’s Veterans at Battlefields and Military Park Preserved in the National Park System” website, found at "More Information" below, people can learn of the many special places managed by the National Park Service. In addition to a list of national park sites, the web site includes information and web links to books and documents related to the theme of battlefields and military parks.

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