Each Veterans Day, Americans reflect on how veterans have served and sacrificed for this country, but that remains top of mind year-round at historic battlefields, memorials and military parks around the U.S.
More than 100 National Park Service sites are directly tied to the military, and all of them are free to visit on Veterans Day, a free entry day across the parks system.
“What better way to honor those who served their country than to visit a national park that preserves the places where they the belong?” the National Park Service asks on a list of military sites and national cemeteries under its umbrella.
Some sites are holding special events for Veterans Day, while others share their stories daily, weather permitting. Here are just a few of the free events around the country.
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Fort Donelson National Battlefield will hold guided Reflections on Veterans Day walks at 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. at Fort Donelson National Cemetery in Dover, Tennessee. Fort Donelson is tied to the Civil War.
Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve in Chalmette, Louisiana will hold its daily Chalmette Battlefield – Battle of New Orleans Talk at 2:45 p.m. The Battle of New Orleans was critical in the War of 1812.
Yorktown Battlefield Part of Colonial National Historical Park in Yorktown, Virginia, will hold a Yorktown Battlefield Walk at 10 a.m. and ranger talks at 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. The programs are offered every day except Tuesday. Yorktown was key in the American Revolution.
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The World War II Memorial in Washington will hold a Veterans Day Observance at 9 a.m.
Additionally the National Museum of the American Indian, which is part of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, will formally dedicate the National Native American Veterans Memorial at 4 p.m. It will be preceded by a 2 p.m. procession of Native American veterans and their families along the National Mall. Both events will be livestreamed.
The American Battlefield Trust, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving battlefields and sharing their history, has highlighted several more Veterans Day programs here.
To find other events on Veterans Day or any day, visitors can search the National Park Service’s event calendar by date and location.
Story Credit: usatoday.com