Commemorate Veterans Day at Seven Exciting Historic Sites and Tourist Destinations
(Washington, D.C.) — For more than two centuries, the men and women of America’s armed forces have served with distinction and valor. Following World War I, Armistice Day was established in remembrance of that tragic global conflict. In 1954, Congress passed legislation officially designating the holiday to recognize all American veterans, renaming it Veterans Day.
This Veterans Day, honor those who have worn our nation’s uniform by visiting a battlefield park or another of the historic destinations recommended by the Trust to reflect on their service and sacrifice:
November 9: “History of the American Soldier” Program, Greensboro, N.C.
Living history interpreters dress in uniforms depicting various periods in American history, from the Revolutionary War through the 20th century, for this Veterans Day program at Guilford Courthouse National Military Park. This program will give visitors an opportunity to learn about several periods of this nation’s military history, from the early European settlement to the recent era. Visitors are urged to interact with the soldiers to learn about their uniforms, equipment, weaponry and the period that they represent. Learn more.
November 9: Patriotic Veterans Day Ceremony at “Freedom’s Fortress”, Fort Monroe, Va.
Fort Monroe National Monument — home to “Freedom’s Fortress,” the Union stronghold which served throughout the Civil War as a site of self-emancipation for more than 10,000 African Americans in bondage — is proud to honor and celebrate the men and women of the United States military, past and present, in a patriotic Veterans Day ceremony. All are welcome. Those in attendance will be invited to place U.S. flags in a special installation at Battery Church Field. Learn more.
November 9: Military Chaplains Veterans Day Display, Monroe, Mich.
See a special Veterans Day display at River Raisin National Battlefield Park, featuring chaplains in the Armed Forces. Christian and Jewish field kits, military chaplain vestments, and a full-size altar set from World War II will be on display. Learn more.
November 9: Disabled American Veterans 5K on Historic Castle Island, Boston, Mass.
This event is a run, walk and roll that thanks those who have served, and raises awareness of the issues ill and injured veterans face every day. Held on historic Castle Island, participants encircle Fort Independence — which played a variety of roles in colonial and Revolutionary times, including serving as a British bastion during the Siege of Boston. Learn more.
November 11: Veterans Day Commemoration with “TOPGUN” Co-Founder, Simi Valley, Ca.
The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library is hosting its annual Veterans Day event on Monday, November 11. Activities include a Civil War encampment, live musical entertainment, a military vehicle display and a program honoring all branches of America’s military. Keynote speaker Dan Pedersen was the senior officer in the group of nine men who formed the Navy’s legendary “TOPGUN” graduate program at Naval Air Station Miramar in March 1969. Learn more.
November 11–16: Special “Black American Soldiers in the Revolutionary War” Exhibit, New York, N.Y.
Learn about the black soldiers who took up patriot arms during the Revolutionary War this Veterans Day at New York’s African Burial Ground National Monument, which the National Park Service describes as “the oldest and largest known excavated burial ground in North America for both free and enslaved Africans.” This week-long special exhibit is free to all and requires no advance reservation or registration. Learn more.
November 18, 19, and 23: Gettysburg Dedication Day Events, Gettysburg, Pa.
This November 19 marks the 156th anniversary of the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, famous as the site of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, delivered four and a half months after its namesake battle. Numerous events are planned in commemoration, among them: an open house at the David Wills House and Gettysburg Lincoln Railroad Station; a keynote address by presidential scholar Michael Beschloss during the commemoration ceremony; a parade of Civil War living history groups; and a moving nighttime tribute in the cemetery, during which each of the 3,512 soldiers’ graves are illuminated and the names of the fallen are read aloud. Learn more.
For more Veterans Day travel ideas, check the National Park Service events calendar at findyourpark.com, visit a state park website, search for museums and historic sites near you, or browse the American Battlefield Trust’s suggested travel itineraries.
The American Battlefield Trust is dedicated to preserving America’s hallowed battlegrounds and educating the public about what happened there and why it matters today. To date, the nonprofit, nonpartisan organization has protected more than 51,000 acres of battlefield land associated with the Revolutionary War, War of 1812 and Civil War. Learn more at www.battlefields.org.