8 American Military Parks Across The Country

Managed by the National Park Service, military parks designate sites or areas on American soil where historical battles occurred during the armed conflicts that shaped the growth and development of the Unites States. Found across the country, these sites commemorate victories as well as losses, honoring the heroism of the American people and the conflict our nation has endured. 

By: David Hollerith

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Natchez Trace Parkway

Running for 444 miles through Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi, the Natchez Trace Parkway is a gorgeous historic parkway that welcomes bicyclists, cars and pedestrians. From its earliest inhabitants in 800 A.D. to the troops who marched it under Andrew Jackson, every milepost tells a story.

The Colonial Parkway

The Colonial Parkway is an all-American Road that links Virginia’s Historic Triangle. From Jamestown settlement to the Battle of Yorktown, visitors can experience 400 years of American Colonial history driving along the Colonial Parkway.

The Alamo National Historic Landmark

For 13 days in 1836, 200 men defended the Alamo from the invading Mexican army. Though eventually overrun, the heroism of the Alamo's defenders became a lasting legacy for independence.

Chalmette Battlefield and National Cemetery

Fought on Chalmette Battlefield, the Battle of New Orleans was the final battle of the War of 1812. This resounding American victory over the British became one of the first symbols of American democracy. Visitors can learn more about the War of 1812 from the visitor center’s films and museum.

Dry Tortugas National Park

Along with prime snorkeling, this beautifully remote archipelago is home to several historic shipwrecks as well as Fort Jefferson, a massive unfinished military fortress used as a prison during the Civil War and as a naval base during the Spanish-American War.

Gettysburg National Military Park

In 1863, Confederate and Union forces fought for three terrible days at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, until some 50,000 lay dead or wounded. Today, [Gettysburg National Military Park](https://www.nps.gov/gett/index.htm) is said to echo with the cries and whispers of their phantoms. One of the most horrifying stories in the area comes from two Gettysburg College administrators. One night, the men claim, they took an elevator to the first floor of a building called Pennsylvania Hall. Instead of stopping there, the elevator descended to the basement, where the doors opened to reveal a blood-splattered Civil War operating room. If you go, perhaps you should take the steps.

Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument

This site memorializes the thousands of lives lost in one of the final struggles of the Northern Plains Indians to preserve their way of life against Lt. Colonel Custer and the U.S. Army.

USS Arizona Memorial

In Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, this site straddles the sunken remains of a battleship and honors the U.S. sailors and marines who lost their lives during the surprise attack by the Japanese. From the battle of Okinawa to the internment of Japanese Americans, here visitors can dive into the preserved stories of the Pacific War of WWII.

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