By Melissa Locker
November 11, 2019
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Nothing shows the significance of military history to the National Park Service quite like the fact that Veterans Day is one of only five 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 the parks and the military may not be immediately obvious, many national parks have direct 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 Revolutionary War (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.).

One of the newer sites, the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial, was dedicated on October 5, 2014, in Washington, D.C. This site honors the sacrifice of all disabled veterans.

Many national cemeteries also sit within national park land, 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 $35 per vehicle. Celebrating Veterans Day at the national parks 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 National Park Service’s website to find a park near you.