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Thank a vet and then hug a tree tomorrow when the nation’s National Parks open their doors for free for Veteran’s Day.

Melissa Locker
November 10, 2015

Nothing shows the significance of military history to the National Park System quite like the fact that Veterans Day is one of only nine days each year when the NPS waives admission fees at its parks. Not even Christmas and New Year's make the cut for that honor.

While the relationship between parks and veterans may not be immediately obvious, many national parks have direction connections to the military and military history, which is why Veterans Day is worthy of waiving fees. The nation’s park system includes sites from the American Revolution (Valley Forge National Historical Park, Pennsylvania), the Civil War (Antietam National Battlefield, Maryland), World War II (War in the Pacific National Historical Park, Guam) and the Vietnam War (Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington, D.C.), where they host an annual Veterans Day Observance.

The newest site, the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial, was dedicated on October 5, 2014, in Washington, D.C., and honors the sacrifice of all disabled veterans.

Many National Cemeteries also sit within national parkland, including Tennessee’s Shiloh National Cemetery, Montana’s Custer National Cemetery, and Mississippi’s Vicksburg National Cemetery.

While many of the National Parks are free year round, parks like Yellowstone can cost up to $30 per vehicle. Veterans Day is a great way to visit a park for free while giving thanks to veterans for all they have done for this country. Whether you’re in South Dakota or Hawaii, use the Park Service’s website to find a park near you.

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