Among the best ways to pay tribute to our nation’s veterans is by visiting a military monument or memorial. With Veteran’s Day fast approaching, it might be a good time to start planning on where to go to pay your respects to those who have made enormous sacrifices while defending our country. While many national monuments and memorials may be too far to visit, there’s bound to be a place in your area where you can pay your respects on this important federal holiday.
Bunker Hill Monument
Charleston, MA 02129
Current Status: Bunker Hill Museum is open on a modified basis. All open-air spaces are open.
Anchored by a 221-foot tall granite obelisk, Bunker Hill Monument commemorates one of the earliest battles of the Revolutionary War. Held on June 17, 1775, the Battle of Bunker Hill actually ended in a victory by the British forces. However, the Americans did well enough to convince themselves that they could defend themselves against the British. Located in Boston’s oldest neighborhood, the monument also features a museum across the street. Boston has several other historical attractions to visit on Veteran’s Day. Among them are Old North Church, Paul Revere House and the Boston Massacre Site.
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Fort Sumter National Monument
Charleston, SC 2941
Current Status: Ferry service is running to Fort Sumter, Fort Sumter Visitor Education Center is open daily except Thanksgiving, December 25 and January 1
Fort Sumter was the setting for the first shots fired to start the Civil War on April 12, 1861. Construction of Fort Sumter began in 1829 in order to protect Charleston Harbor. However it was not yet completed when South Carolina militia cannons struck the sea fortress. Union forces surrendered Fort Sumter the following day but was reclaimed towards the end of the Civil War. Tickets for ferry service to Fort Sumter may be obtained at the Visitor Education Center in Liberty Square. Additionally, the outside grounds of Fort Moultrie are open although the fort and visitor center remain closed.
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Gettysburg National Military Park
1195 Baltimore Pike
Gettysburg, PA 17325
Current Status: Parking is open at Gettysburg National Military Park. Museum and Visitor Center open Thursdays through Mondays
The Battle at Gettysburg is considered the most important event of the Civil War. Fought from July 1-3, 1863, the Union Army defeated the Confederate Army in what was considered the turning point of the Civil War. Four months, later, President Abraham Lincoln visited the site and delivered his famous Gettysburg Address. Access to the battleground and the Museum/Visitor Center are free. Also of particular interest are the Eisenhower National Historic Site and Gettysburg National Cemetery.
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600 Ohio Drive SW
Washington DC 20024
Current Status: The National Mall is open 24 hours. Rangers are on duty at sites from 9:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
Encompassing 146 acres, the National Mall is said to be America’s most visited national park. The location for several iconic structures like the Washington Monument, the National Mall is also home to several memorials dedicated to U.S. veterans. This includes the Korean War Memorial, Vietnam War Memorial and World War II Memorial. Visitors should also consider traveling across the Potomac River to Arlington, Virginia. Several more prominent sites are located here, like Arlington National Cemetery and U.S. Marine Corps Memorial.
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Colonial National Historical Park
Yorktown, VA 23690
Current Status: Yorktown Battlefield Visitor Center parking lot is open. Yorktown Battlefield Visitor Center Gift Shop is open although the visitor center itself remains closed. Roads leading to the Yorktown Victory Monument is open.
Yorktown Battlefield was the site of the most important military engagement of the Revolutionary War. Set in Virginia’s Historic Triangle, Yorktown Battlefield is where British General Cornwallis surrendered, effectively ending the Revolutionary War. Visitors are encouraged to visit the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. The museum features a recreation of a campsite used by the Continental Army. Other must-see attractions within the Historic Triangle are Historic Jamestown and Colonial Williamsburg.
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About The Author:
Randy Yagi is an award-winning freelance writer who served as the National Travel Writer for CBS Local from 2012-2019. More than 900 of his stories still appear in syndication across 23 CBS Local websites, including CBS New York, CBS Los Angeles, CBS Chicago and CBS San Francisco. During his peak years with CBS, he reportedly had a digital audience reach of 489 million and more than 5.5 million monthly visitors. His other stories have also appeared in the Daily Meal, Examiner.com, CBS Radio, Engadget and Radio.com. He is a Media Fellow of Stanford University, U.S. Army veteran and lifelong resident of Santa Cruz County, California.