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Contact: Shannan Marcak, 928-638-7958
Grand Canyon, Ariz. - On Saturday, May 19, 2012 - 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.
"Grand Canyon National Park is proud to recognize the brave men and women who sacrifice so much to protect our country," said park Superintendent Dave Uberuaga. "It is our hope that a visit to the Grand Canyon will offer an opportunity for active duty military personnel to rejuvenate and spend quality time having fun with their families."
Active duty members of the U.S. Military and their dependents can pick up the new pass at Grand Canyon National Park entrance stations beginning May 19.Those wishing to obtain a pass 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, 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.
For information on visiting Grand Canyon National Park, please go to the park's web site at www.nps.gov/grca.