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VFW Magazine August 2016 : Page 18

NATIONAL PARKS: FORT McHENRY NATIONAL MONUMENT— War of 1812 Baltimore, Md. ‘VAST SCHOOLROOMS OF AMERICANISM’ NATIONAL PARK SERVICE America’s vast network of national parks not only showcases natural wonders but also the sacrifices of the nation’s warriors. B Y R OBERT W IDENER n Aug. 25, 2016, the National Park Service (NPS) celebrates its 100th anniversary. It is still going strong. In 2015, more than 307 million visi-tors enjoyed park sites, a record-breaking number for a single year. While the natural parks are internationally known, many historical sites receive less notoriety. Yet there are at least 90 NPS places in 10 cate-gories with a primary military theme: historical parks, sites, monuments, war memorials, battlefields, military parks, battlefield parks, historic sites, a memo-rial park and one battlefield monument. Not surprisingly, America owes creation of the national military parks to war vet-erans. The 1890s ushered in an era of Civil War remembrance and reverence. On Aug. 19, 1890, President Benjamin Harrison signed into law the first—Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park. Union Army BOSTON NATIONAL HISTORICAL vets Henry V. Boynton and Ferdinand Van Derveer PARK, BUNKER HILL MONUMENT— had conceived the idea for it two years earlier. Revolutionary War, 1775-1783 Dedicated officially on Sept. 18-20, 1895, it Charlestown, Mass. became the prototype of all the national military O 18 • VFW • AUGUST 2016

National Parks: ‘Vast Schoolrooms Of Americanism’

Robert Widener

‘VAST SCHOOLROOMS OF AMERICANISM’<br /> <br /> America’s vast network of national parks not only showcases natural wonders but also the sacrifices of the nation’s warriors.<br /> <br /> On Aug. 25, 2016, the National Park Service (NPS) celebrates its 100th anniversary. It is still going strong. In 2015, more than 307 million visitors enjoyed park sites, a record-breaking number for a single year.<br /> <br /> While the natural parks are internationally known, many historical sites receive less notoriety. Yet there are at least 90 NPS places in 10 categories with a primary military theme: historical parks, sites, monuments, war memorials, battlefields, military parks, battlefield parks, historic sites, a memorial park and one battlefield monument.<br /> <br /> Not surprisingly, America owes creation of the national military parks to war veterans. The 1890s ushered in an era of Civil War remembrance and reverence. On Aug. 19, 1890, President Benjamin Harrison signed into law the first—Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park. Union Army vets Henry V. Boynton and Ferdinand Van Derveer had conceived the idea for it two years earlier.<br /> <br /> Dedicated officially on Sept. 18-20, 1895, it became the prototype of all the national military and historical parks to come. Shiloh, Antietam, Gettysburg and Vicksburg soon followed. Originally supervised by the War Department, these sites and others were transferred to the National Park Service on Aug. 10, 1933.<br /> <br /> Battlefield preservation was rooted in commemoration. “These veterans who lived through the [Civil] War and now had the power to remember their friends who had not survived were bent on doing so,” wrote Timothy B. Smith, author of A Chickamauga Memorial: The Establishment of America’s First Civil War National Military Park.<br /> <br /> “In commemorating their actions, the passing veterans’ generation wanted to explain to the contemporary world and to future generations not only what they had done but also the significance, as they perceived it, of their actions.” <br /> <br /> Smith continued: “The establishment of the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park was thus the watershed event in United States battlefield preservation history. At Chickamauga, the dominant veterans certainly told their story the way they saw fit and thus laid the framework that has stood there until today, and it has only recently begun to be challenged.” <br /> <br /> No wonder the first NPS Director Stephen Mather called the parks “vast schoolrooms of Americanism.”<br /> <br /> National Park Service Sites Focusing on Military History and Veterans<br /> <br /> ALABAMA<br /> <br /> Horseshoe Bend National Military Park Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site <br /> <br /> ALASKA <br /> <br /> Sitka National Historical Park<br /> <br /> ARIZONA<br /> <br /> Canyon De Chelly National Monument Fort Bowie National Historic Site<br /> <br /> ARKANSAS <br /> <br /> Arkansas Post National Monument Fort Smith National Historic Site Pea Ridge National Military Park <br /> <br /> CALIFORNIA<br /> <br /> Fort Point National Historic Site Lava Beds National Monument (Modoc War Battlefield) Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial Rosie the Riveter WWII/Home Front National Historical Park<br /> <br /> COLORADO<br /> <br /> Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site<br /> <br /> DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA<br /> <br /> African American Civil War Monument<br /> Korean War Veterans Memorial<br /> Vietnam Veterans Memorial<br /> World War II National Memorial <br /> <br /> FLORIDA <br /> <br /> Castillo De San Marcos National Monument<br /> Fort Caroline National Memorial<br /> Fort Jefferson National Monument<br /> Fort Matanzas National Monument <br /> <br /> GEORGIA <br /> <br /> Andersonville National Historic Site<br /> Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park<br /> Fort Frederica National Monument<br /> Fort Pulaski National Monument<br /> Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park<br /> <br /> GUAM<br /> <br /> War in the Pacific National Historical Park <br /> <br /> HAWAII <br /> <br /> USS Arizona National Memorial<br /> World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument<br /> <br /> IDAHO <br /> <br /> Nez Perce National Historical Park <br /> <br /> INDIANA<br /> <br /> George Rogers Clark National Historical Park<br /> <br /> KANSAS <br /> <br /> Fort Larned National Historic Site Fort Scott National Historic Site <br /> <br /> KENTUCKY <br /> <br /> Cumberland Gap National Historical Park<br /> <br /> LOUISIANA <br /> <br /> Jean Lafitte National Historical Park &amp; Preserve (Chalmette Battlefield) <br /> <br /> MARIANA ISLANDS<br /> <br /> American Memorial Park<br /> <br /> MARYLAND <br /> <br /> Antietam National Battlefield<br /> Fort McHenry National Monument and National Shrine<br /> Fort Washington Park<br /> Harpers Ferry National Historical Park<br /> Monocacy National Battlefield<br /> <br /> MASSACHUSETTS<br /> <br /> Boston National Historical Park<br /> Minuteman National Historical Park<br /> Springfield Armory National Historic Site<br /> <br /> MICHIGAN <br /> <br /> River Raisin National Battlefield Park <br /> <br /> MISSISSIPPI <br /> <br /> Brices Cross Roads National Battlefield Site<br /> Tupelo National Battlefield<br /> Vicksburg National Military Park<br /> <br /> MISSOURI<br /> <br /> Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site<br /> Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield<br /> World War I National Memorial<br /> <br /> MONTANA <br /> <br /> Big Hole National Battlefield<br /> Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site<br /> Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument <br /> <br /> NEW JERSEY <br /> <br /> Morristown National Historical Park<br /> <br /> NEW MEXICO <br /> <br /> Fort Union National Monument<br /> Pecos National Historical Park (Battle of Glorieta Pass, 1862) <br /> <br /> NEW YORK<br /> <br /> Castle Clinton National Monument<br /> Fort Stanwix National Monument<br /> General Grant National Monument<br /> Saratoga National Historical Park <br /> <br /> NORTH CAROLINA <br /> <br /> Fort Raleigh National Historic Site<br /> Guilford Courthouse National Military Park<br /> Moores Creek National Battlefield <br /> <br /> NORTH DAKOTA <br /> <br /> Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site<br /> <br /> OHIO<br /> <br /> Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument<br /> Perry’s Victory &amp; International Peace Memorial<br /> OKLAHOMA<br /> <br /> Washita Battlefield National Historic Site<br /> <br /> OREGON <br /> <br /> Fort Clatsop National Memorial <br /> <br /> PENNSYLVANIA <br /> <br /> Flight 93 National Memorial<br /> Fort Necessity National Battlefield<br /> Gettysburg National Military Park<br /> Independence National Historical Park<br /> Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Monument<br /> Valley Forge National Historical Park<br /> <br /> SOUTH CAROLINA <br /> <br /> Cowpens National Battlefield<br /> Fort Sumter National Monument<br /> Kings Mountain National Military Park<br /> Ninety Six National Historic Site <br /> <br /> SOUTH DAKOTA <br /> <br /> Minuteman Missile National Historic Site <br /> <br /> TENNESSEE <br /> <br /> Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park<br /> Fort Donelson National Battlefield<br /> Shiloh National Military Park<br /> Stones River National Battlefield <br /> <br /> TEXAS <br /> <br /> Fort Davis National Historic Site<br /> Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Site <br /> <br /> VIRGINIA <br /> <br /> Appomattox Court House National Historical Park<br /> Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial<br /> Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park Colonial National Historical Park, Yorktown Battlefield<br /> Fort Monroe National Monument<br /> Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park Manassas National Battlefield Park<br /> Petersburg National Battlefield<br /> Richmond National Battlefield Park <br /> <br /> WASHINGTON <br /> <br /> Fort Vancouver National Historic Site <br /> <br /> WEST VIRGINIA <br /> <br /> Harpers Ferry National Historical Park <br /> <br /> WYOMING <br /> <br /> Fort Laramie National Historic Site<br /> <br /> What are you waiting for?<br /> <br /> Annual and lifetime passes are available for more than 2,000 federal recreation sites:<br /> <br /> Lifetime Senior Pass, 62 or older: $10 <br /> <br /> Active Duty Military and Dependents: Free <br /> <br /> Annual Pass: $80 <br /> <br /> To find out more, go to: www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/passes.htm<br />

Read the full article at http://digitaledition.qwinc.com/article/National+Parks%3A+%E2%80%98Vast+Schoolrooms+Of+Americanism%E2%80%99/2523118/316955/article.html.

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