National parks are free today—Veterans Day!
Throughout the national park system there are dozens of parks with connections to wartime. Some are obvious, like Gettysburg National Military Park and the WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument. Still others are not so evident but no less important—like Yosemite and even Dinosaur national parks.
National parklands have long been places for healing, for recovering from wartime—for veterans and civilians alike. While writing Prophets and Moguls, Rangers and Rogues, Bison and Bears: 100 Years of the National Park Service, I read countless accounts and spoke to veterans about the power parks have to mend the spirit.
Today we are not red or blue, or liberal or conservative, we are simply thankful.
Feeling especially grateful? Support the NPS in the work they do as the keeper of national memory. And learn about the forthcoming Education Center at the Wall, a collaboration between the NPS and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (which is being completely funded by private donations).
Want to learn more about the links between parks and wartime? Buy the book!
Photo courtesy of US Navy, “Sailor plays Taps aboard the USS Arizona Memorial to commemorate the 69th anniversary of the Battle of Midway.”