Salute America's Veterans at these Six Historic Sites and Destinations
Colleen Cheslak, (202) 367-1861 x7234
(Washington, D.C.) — Countless acres across the United States represent landscapes where soldiers strived, struggled, and sacrificed in battle. The stories of those who answered the nation’s call to service function as a driving force for the American Battlefield Trust, as they persevere in their mission to preserve and interpret America’s hallowed ground. This preserved terrain can furthermore be used to bridge the eras between today’s veterans and active-duty military and those who came before them. With Veterans Day soon approaching, the American Battlefield Trust pauses to recognize the courage and commitment of our nation’s heroic veterans.
To reflect on the contributions of those who have donned our nation’s uniform, take a trip to one of the battlefield parks across the United States or seek out one of the following Trust-recommended historic destinations.
November 6: Hike to Honor Veterans, Van Buren, Mo.
Join the Ozark National Scenic Riverways as the National Park Service unit honors our nation’s veterans. The commemorative hike will begin with a flag ceremony at Rocky Falls — honoring the brave men and women who have served the nation through thick and thin. The hike will commence along the Ozark Trail to the top of the Stegall Mountain. After lunch, participants will hike back to Rocky Falls, totaling a distance of five miles. Veterans and the general public are welcome to join this free event. No prior registration is needed. Learn more.
November 7: “The Big Gun Shoot” 160th Anniversary of the Battle of Port Royal Sound, Beaufort, S.C.
This year marks the 160th anniversary of the Battle of Port Royal Sound, where the Federals drove Confederate forces out of Beaufort County and opened the door for Reconstruction in South Carolina. To honor the anniversary, the Reconstruction Era National Historical Park is hosting a 90-minute presentation discussing the fight, the experience of freed people, and more. An optional guided walk will commence after the presentation — highlighting the area where the battle took place. To commemorate the battle, local veterans will present a wreath and stand guard for three hours. Learn more.
November 9 – 11: National Veterans Day Ceremony, Arlington, Va.
Since 1921, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier has provided a resting place for an unidentified World War I service member, with two other unknown American service members added in 1958 and 1984. To commemorate the 100th anniversary and Veterans Day at large, Arlington National Cemetery will be holding events from November 9 – 11. A flower ceremony will take place — for the first time in nearly 100 years — from November 9 – 10, enabling the public to walk to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Plaza and pay their respects. A joint full honors procession meant to replicate the World War I Unknown Soldier’s 1921 funeral procession will take place on Veterans Day followed by a flyover with aircraft from all branches of the military. Registration is required for the flower ceremony but is not required for the procession and flyover. Learn more.
November 11: Veterans Day Virtual Program at the National Museum of the Pacific War, virtual
The National Museum of the Pacific War is hosting a virtual Veterans Day program to highlight, honor and pay respect to our nation’s veterans. The program will feature an introduction by General Michael Hagee, a speech by World War II veteran DG “Mac” McWilliams regarding his experience in the Marine Corps and will be followed by other veterans sharing their experiences and thoughts on the profound national holiday. Learn more.
November 11: Veterans Day Bus Tours of Shiloh, Shiloh, Tenn.
Shiloh National Military Park is offering two free bus tours of the battlefield park to veterans and their spouses on Veterans Day. As a park established by the veterans of the battle and initially managed by those very veterans, Shiloh represents one of the many instances that tie the National Park Service with the American military. Learn more about this special history and that of the 1862 Civil War battle on tour! As spots are limited, pre-registration is required. Learn more.
November 19 – 20: Gettysburg Dedication and Remembrance Day Events, Gettysburg, Pa.
November 19 marks the 158th anniversary of the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, including President Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address. As such, Gettysburg National Military Park will have repeating events held throughout the month for visitors to learn more about the cemetery and the expansive battlefield its forever linked to. The Dedication Day Ceremony will take place on November 19, followed by the annual parade and Remembrance Day illumination on November 20. Sponsored by the Gettysburg Foundation, the illumination commemoration is an especially meaningful event to witness, with a luminary candle adorning each of the 3,512 Civil War soldiers’ graves while their names are read aloud. Learn more.
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. The nonprofit, nonpartisan organization has protected nearly 54,000 acres associated with the Revolutionary War, War of 1812 and Civil War. Learn more at www.battlefields.org.