Exploring, And Honoring, The Past In National Parks Over Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day Weekend is a time for remembrance, and for getting outdoors and enjoying the weather. You can do both in the National Park System this weekend, as the National Park Foundation notes in its list of "10 Ways to Honor Memorial Day."

On Memorial Day weekend, many sites throughout the National Park System will hold events in memoriam of the greatest sacrifice made by those protecting our nation, while other sites stand as permanent tributes to fallen soldiers year-round.

“Memorial Day is about taking a collective moment to pause and pay tribute to the valor of our fallen American veterans,” said Neil Mulholland, president and CEO of the National Park Foundation. “National parks guard and honor the legacy of our brave military men and women in places such as battlefields, historical parks, and national monuments.”

From the American Revolutionary War to the events of September 11, 2001, the National Park Service and National Park Foundation work to protect the memory of those lost in service to their country. This Memorial Day, everyone can observe this day of reflection in a national park, paying respect to the ultimate devotion and sacrifice made by fellow Americans.

Celebrate and honor the memory of U.S. military members by:

1. Learning what it was like to be a soldier in the American Revolutionary War at Independence National Historical Park (Pennsylvania) with activities and presentations throughout the day.

2. Remembering the lives lost in the first battle of the U.S.-Mexican War at Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park (Texas), one of our American Latino Heritage Fund sites.

3. Paying tribute to America’s fallen troops -- from the War of 1812 to today -- at Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve’s Chalmette National Cemetery (Louisiana).

4. Reflecting on the sacrifices of this nation’s military personnel at Shiloh National Military Park (Tennessee) by listening to living historians as they interpret wars from colonial times to today.

5. Visiting the numerous sites at National Mall & Memorial Parks (Washington, D.C.) and taking time to remember the contributions and service of American veterans both at home and abroad.

6. Recognizing the valiant dedication of the first African American military pilots in World War II at Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site (Alabama), one of our African American Experience Fund sites.

7. Joining Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine (Maryland) as they pay tribute to the graves of fallen War of 1812, Civil War, World War I and II, and Korean War veterans.

8. Honoring of the lives of ordinary passengers and crew members, who joined together for an extraordinary act of selflessness at Flight 93 National Memorial (Pennsylvania).

9. Exploring the Lincoln Memorial (online) through an interactive website that showcases the memorial and park ranger reflections on its history.

10. Watching PBS’s live National Memorial Day Concert on Sunday, May 25, from 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET, and enjoying the musical tributes by groups such as the U.S. Army Chorus, U.S. Navy Band Sea Chanters, and the U.S. Air Force Singing Sergeants.