In honor of Veterans Day today, national parks everywhere are acknowledging the veterans that served our country.
In addition, today is a free admission day for the general public in honor of the national holiday. It is the very last free admission day for the rest of the year. However, with an Interagency Military Pass, active-duty military members, veterans, and Gold Star families can get into parks free all year.
Yellowstone Honors Veterans
“Today, we thank those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces and continue to serve in the @NatlParkService in a different uniform. Here are a few of the 52 faces (13% of our workforce) that answered the call,” the post says. It also shared four photos of different veterans in their NPS uniforms.
According to the NPS site, there are around 4,000 veterans currently working with the organization. They make up more than 20% of the total staff. “We are committed to increasing this number and actively recruit veterans. Match your skills to our mission,” the site states.
Many people will spend Veterans Day at important historical locations like the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Gettysburg National Military Park. However, many of our parks are rooted in some deep history, which is why it’s a free admission day.
In addition, Yellowstone isn’t the only one to give a shoutout to veterans on this important day. Grand Canyon National Park tweeted, “On Veterans Day, we take a moment to salute the men and women who serve and have served in our nation’s military. We offer a special thanks to all veterans now working here for Grand Canyon National Park. Today we honor you.”
Muir Woods National Park also tweeted and reminded people just how important it is to protect our land. “Today we thank our veterans for their service. National Park sites across the country are celebrating by offering free admission to everyone. By visiting our park, or any other NPS site, it is a reminder that these places are worth protecting.”
Why Visit a National Park on Veterans Day?
According to USA Today, the first rangers for national parks were U.S. Cavalry, many of which were Buffalo Soldiers at the time. They would help to carve out the bones of popular parks like Sequoia and Yosemite.
For example, these soldiers built the arboretum at Yosemite, an accessible road to Sequoia, and the start of the Mauna Loa Trail at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. Then, in WWII, Mount Rainer was used as a training ground and Hot Springs and Denali were two different resting areas for tired troops.
“On Veterans Day, and throughout the year, we remember our country’s veterans and the sacrifices they endured to defend our freedoms,” NPS Deputy Director Shawn Benge said in a recent statement.