Veterans Day is November 11, and the National Park Service is inviting all visitors to remember our veterans by visiting any National Park Service site for free. Head to the Statue of Liberty, road trip to the Grand Canyon, or visit one of the many memorials, military parks, and historic sites commemorating the service of American veterans.
Here are 11 National Park sites to visit and pay tribute to the selfless service of our veterans.
1. Vietnam Veterans Memorial — Washington, DC
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial lists the names of 58,318 Americans who gave their lives in service to their country during the Vietnam War.
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2. Perry’s Victory & International Peace Memorial — Put-in-Bay, Ohio
Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial celebrates the long-lasting peace among Great Britain, Canada, and the U.S. and honors those who fought in the Battle of Lake Erie.
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3. Saratoga National Historic Park — Stillwater, New York
Here, at Saratoga, American troops battled for independence and beat a British invasion force in 1777. This was the first time in history that a British Army surrendered.
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4. Fort Scott National Historic Site — Fort Scott, Kansas
Representing a military fort of the 1840s, Fort Scott focuses on the U.S. Army’s role on the frontier. With 20 historic structures, the site draws in around 26,000 visitors every year.
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5. Custer National Cemetery — Garryowen, Montana
At Custer National Cemetery are the graves of known and unknown veterans. Like many national cemeteries, it was created after those killed in battle were already buried here in order to protect those graves.
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6. Fort Laramie National Historic Site — Fort Laramie, Wyoming
Fort Laramie was originally established as a trading post and later became a military installation during the American Indian Wars. Today, it, along with many NPS battlefield sites, has been preserved to interpret the effects on native peoples and their cultures.
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7. Andersonville National Historic Site — Andersonville, Georgia
Andersonville National Historic Site was once a stockade built to hold Union Army prisoners captured by Confederate soldiers during the Civil War. Now, as it stands, the site is comprised of Camp Sumter military prison, the Andersonville National Cemetery, and the National Prisoner of War Museum to honor U.S. prisoners of war.
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8. Cabrillo National Monument — San Diego, California
During WWI and WWII, military facilities on the Point Loma peninsula provided vital coastal and harbor defense systems. You can visit Cabrillo National Monument to see historic military installations like base-end stations, fire control stations, searchlight bunkers, and a radio station.
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9. Minuteman Missile National Historic Site — Philip, South Dakota
During the Cold War, 1000 nuclear missiles were placed on constant alert in the Great Plains. Minuteman Missile National Historic Site stands to tell the story of the Minuteman Missiles, nuclear deterrence, and the war.
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10. Korean War Veterans Memorial — Washington, DC
One of the most striking sites in Washington DC is the Korean War Veterans Memorial. There stand 19 stainless steel statues commemorating the immense sacrifice of millions of Americans and allied partners who fought in the Korean War.
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11. Fort Necessity National Battlefield — Farmington, Pennsylvania
The battle of Fort Necessity set the stage for the French and Indian War. Go to see the reconstructed Fort Necessity and Mount Washington Tavern. Stay for a picnic and a hike.
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Happy Veterans Day!
Though these 11 sites have a direct connection to the American military, every National Park serves as a reminder of what our veterans worked to protect. Get outside this Veterans Day with a trip to one of these sites, or to a National Park that typically charges an entrance fee, and remember to thank these men and women for their service.
And if you are a Veteran, you can always get into National Parks for free! The Interagency Annual Military Pass offers current military members, veterans, and Gold Star Families free admission to all National Parks, BLM lands, and more.
Have a safe and happy Veterans Day!