By Polly Angelakis, Haleakala National Park
On Veterans Day, November 11, 2014, Haleakalā National Park will waive entrance fees for all park visitors. The waiver is part of the National Park Service commemoration of Veterans and Veteran’s Day.
In addition, active duty military can obtain a free one-year America the Beautiful Military Pass at any national park, on any day of the year. The National Park Service has strong roots in the military; the first park rangers were soldiers. The uniform, especially the “ranger hat,” still reflect the Cavalry units that protected national parks until the creation of the National Park Service in 1916.
Today, more than 17 percent of National Park Service employees, nationwide, are veterans. National Parks are tactile reminders of the values, the ideals, the freedoms that our veterans and active duty military protect. Dozens of national park units, including Saratoga, Gettysburg, and the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial, commemorate and honor the service and sacrifice of American veterans.
On Veterans Day, or any day, honor those that have served and sacrificed for our country with a visit to a national park.