Every May, America commemorates those who have died while serving in the armed forces by organizing parades, picnics, and visits to cemeteries and national memorials across the country.
This Memorial Day, honor those brave men and women by exploring the country’s national parks, many of which are home to preserved historic sites, monuments, and memorials dedicated to celebrating military history.
Experience the history of battles fought to protect the nation, contemplate the sacrifices of the armed forces, and discover the stories that make up America.
This Memorial Day remember those who fought and died for our freedom.
Experience the history woven into national parks across the nation as Vogel Talks RVing highlight four iconic parks below.
Gettysburg National Military Park, Pennsylvania
The bloodiest battle of the civil war, which served as inspiration for Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, was fought on the beautiful grassy knolls of this Pennsylvania battlefield.
Today, travel back in time while touring the park, whether your exploration is self-guided or with a licensed battlefield guide. Start at the National Park Service Museum and walk the trails on foot or experience them on horseback. There are also designated hiking trails and cycling trails, as well as campgrounds and specialized park events.
Complete your visit with a stop at Soldiers National Cemetery, the resting place for many Union soldiers as well as those who perished in all American wars since 1865. Paved avenues between the cemetery, the central annex, and the memorial offer a quiet venue to contemplate the great sacrifice of our armed forces.
Saratoga National Historical Park, New York
Site of the first significant American military victory during the Revolution, the Battles of Saratoga rank among the fifteen most decisive battles in world history.
Here in 1777 American forces met, defeated, and forced a major British army to surrender, an event which led France to recognize the independence of the United States and enter the war as a decisive military ally of the struggling Americans.
Walk the old country lanes where Robert E. Lee, Commanding General of the Army of Northern Virginia, surrendered his men to Ulysses Grant, General-in-Chief of all United States forces, on April 9, 1865. Imagine the events that signaled the end of the Southern States’ attempt to create a separate nation.
The National Park encompasses approximately 1,800 acres of rolling hills in rural central Virginia. The site includes the McLean home—where Lee made his formal surrender—and the village of Appomattox Court House, the former county seat for Appomattox County.
Cowpens National Battlefield commemorates a decisive battle that helped turn the tide of war in the Southern Campaign of the American Revolution. On this field on January 17, 1781, Daniel Morgan led his army of tough Continentals, militia, and cavalry to a brilliant victory over Banastre Tarleton’s force of British regulars.
The battle at the “Cow Pens,” one of only a few successful double envelopments in history, is recognized by historians as one of the most important of the American Revolution. Coming on the heels of a patriot victory at nearby Kings Mountain on October 7, 1780, Cowpens was the second successive staggering defeat for British forces under General Charles Cornwallis.
Only nine months after the battle, Cornwallis was forced to surrender his army to General George Washington at Yorktown, Virginia in October 1781.
Take a moment this Memorial Day weekend to thank those who have served and protected America.
Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.
—John F. Kennedy