• The Great House at Casa Grande Ruins stands out for miles

    Casa Grande Ruins

    National Monument Arizona

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Military Pass

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Date: May 16, 2012
Contact: Karl Cordova, Superintendent, (520) 723-3172

Thanking America's Armed Forces

Active Duty U.S. Military Offered Free Entrance to All National Parks

COOLIDGE, AZ -To show our appreciation for those who serve in the U.S. Military, on May 19 - Armed Forces Day - the National Park Service will begin issuing an annual pass offering free entrance to all 397 national parks for active duty military members and their dependents.

"We all owe a debt to those who sacrifice so much to protect our country,"said Casa Grande Ruins National Monument Superintendent Karl Cordova."We are proud to recognize these brave men and women and hope that a visit to this or any national park will offer an opportunity to unwind, relax, rejuvenate, and just have fun with their families."

Active duty members of the U.S. Military and their dependents can pick up their pass at Casa Grande Ruins National Monument any day between 9am and 4:30pm. They must show a current, valid military identification card.

"Through the years, military members, especially those far from home in times of conflict, have found inspiration in America's patriotic icons and majestic landscapes, places like the Statue of Liberty and the Grand Canyon that are cared for by the National Park Service and symbolize the nation that their sacrifices protect," said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. "This new pass is a way to thank military members and their families for their service and their sacrifices."

National parks and the military have strong ties going back to the establishment of Yellowstone as the world's first national park in 1872. The U.S. Cavalry watched over America's national parks and did double duty, serving as the first park rangers until the National Park Service was created 44 years later. During World War II, many parks were set aside for the training and care of military personnel. Today, dozens of national parks commemorate military battles and achievements.

Casa Grande Ruins National Monument protects the multi-story 'Great House' and the ruins of other ancient structures built by the ancient people of the Sonoran Desert over 800 years ago. The Monument is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. except for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Directions and additional information are available on the Monument's website, http://www.nps.gov/cagr or you may call (520) 723-3172.

-NPS-

Did You Know?

Examples of pendants created and traded by the Hohokam

The ancient Sonoran Desert people made shell jewelry bracelets, rings, necklaces and pendants. Some of the jewelry was inlaid with turquoise, others had designs etched into the surface. The shells were acquired from as far away as the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of California.