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National parks honor America's armed forces

Free admission on Veterans Day
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WASHINGTON – From the beginnings of our nation to this very day, brave Americans have fought to protect our country and defend the principles on which it was founded.

On Veterans Day, November 11, our country honors the service of those who have answered the call at places like Lexington and Concord. Guilford Courthouse. Saratgoa. Yorktown. Fort McHenry. Horseshoe Bend. Gettysburg. Antietam. Valley Forge. Appomattox. Shiloh. Kennesaw Mountain. Vicksburg. Wilson’s Creek. USS Arizona. The names are ingrained in our national memory. The places are preserved forever as national parks.

“As part of the national observance of Veterans Day, entrance fees will be waived at all national parks,” said National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis. “This is just a small way we can honor our veterans and active duty military, reserves, National Guard, and their families. It is also an opportunity for all Americans to visit a national park that tells a veteran’s story and learn more about the struggles and the people who have kept our nation strong for more than 200 years.”

To learn more about how national parks preserve and commemorate the service of the American military visit Honor America’s Veterans at Battlefields and Military Parks Preserved in the National Park System. Or search for a close-to-home national park by clicking on “refine your search” and entering your zip code in our park finder.

Many of the 392 national parks have planned special events on Veterans Day including:
World War II Memorial, Washington, DC – 8 a.m. color guard from the Military District of Washington, special speakers, wreath-laying, and taps. Contact: Friends of the National World War II Memorial, (202) 747-4258.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington, DC – 1 p.m. annual Veterans Day Observance at the Wall. Contact: Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund at (202) 393-0090.

Valley Forge National Historical Park, Pennsylvania
– 10:30 a.m. wreath laying at the National Memorial Arch with the Friends of Valley Forge Park and the Korea DMZ Veterans Association. Contact: Ann Marie Maher at (610) 783-1006 or

General Grant National Memorial, New York
– 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. living history displays and demonstrations of the evolution of the American Army during the 19th century. Contact: Mindi Rambo at (212) 668-2208 or

Free entrance on Veterans Day also applies at other areas managed by the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture’s U.S. Forest Service.

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