Parks for war and peace

The NPS is the keeper of national memories. From the Minute Man National Historical Park which explores the opening battle of the Revolutionary War to Gettysburg, the Vietnam Memorial and Pearl Harbor, those memories are of war.

On this Memorial Day during the NPS centennial year, I’m recalling all of those powerful park units I’ve been to which explore the history of battles fought at home and aboard, and where visitors can contemplate the meaning of war, and the sacrifices of soldiers and the people they left behind.

I’m also reflecting on the stories I’ve been told about the healing power of parks. From the curators of objects left along the Wall at the Vietnam Memorial, to soldiers once deployed in the Middle East reuniting at Dinosaur National Monument, it’s clear that national parks are special spaces for remembering and for renewal.

Read more about this and more in Prophets and Moguls, Rangers and Rogues, Bison and Bears: 100 Years of the National Park Service.

Photo courtesy of the NPS.