Thursday, May 26, 2011

National Parks remember America's soldiers on Memorial Day

From its post-Civil War origins as a day when soldiers’ graves would be decorated, Memorial Day occurs during a season of rebirth – in national parks and in home towns across the country.

“Though it is a solemn occasion, Memorial Day also reminds us of our good fortune,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “It honors not only our fallen warriors, but the powerful conviction to which this nation owes so much. On this Memorial Day, we should be both inspired and grateful, and though it is a single day in a year of hundreds, its significance endures throughout time.”

Take a walk around Bear Lake in
Rocky Mountain National Park
Photo by Beverly Burmeier
Memorial Day is also the unofficial start of summer in America. It begins the busiest part of the year at the 394 national parks, monuments, memorials and historic and cultural sites that make up the National Park System. More than 280 million people visited national parks last year.

Jarvis reminds travelers to drive safely when vacationing this summer at national parks or elsewhere. “If you’re 30 minutes or half a day ‘off schedule’ don’t worry. We’ll be here when you arrive,” he says.

A good idea gets even better on June 21, when National park visitors can look forward to a day of free admission to all national parks (some are free year round). That's an especially good time to help preserve local history while participating in a variety of recreational opportunities.

For a list of summer activities in national parks please visit

Read more travel at Striped Pot  and Austin Adventure Travel

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