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Contact: Mary Pat Doorley, 440-546-5995, 440-343-7355 (cell)
Brecksville, Ohio - To show our appreciation for those who serve in the U.S. Military, on Saturday, 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 Cuyahoga Valley National Park Superintendent Stan Austin. "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."
On Saturday, May 19, there will be a special 2-mile hike along the Ledges trail led by Park Ranger Mike Kosmos for active duty military members and their dependents. Meet at 2 p.m. at the Ledges Trailhead located at Truxell/Kendall Park Road, 1 mile west of Akron Cleveland Road, Peninsula 44264.
Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad is offering a $2 reduction in ticket price for active-duty military, their dependents, and all veterans during the "Day Out With Thomas"™ special event held on Saturday and Sunday, May 19 - 20, and Friday through Sunday, May 25 - 27. For event details, visit www.CVSR.com.
Active duty members of the U.S. Military and their dependents can pick up their pass at Boston Store Visitor Center, 1548 Boston Mills Road, Peninsula 44264, daily, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Canal Visitor Center, 7104 Canal Road, Valley View 44125, Wednesdays through Sundays, and Monday, May 28 (Memorial Day) 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Summer hours start June 1. Visit www.nps.gov/cuva for details. To obtain their pass, military members must show a current, valid military identification card. More information is available at www.nps.gov/findapark/passes.htm.
This military version of the America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass also permits free entrance to sites managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the U.S. Forest Service. The pass is also available at these locations.
"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.
About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 397 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.