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Contact: Merrith Baughman, 402-223-3514
Beatrice, NE- To show our appreciation for those who serve in the U.S. Military, the National Park Service has started 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 Homestead National Monument of America Superintendent Mark Engler. "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."
While Homestead National Monument of America does not charge fees or requires park permits, these annual passes can be obtained at the monument.
Visit www.nps.gov/findapark/passes.htm for more information about the military pass. The pass is available at any national park that charges an entrance fee. Even though Homestead National Monument of America does not charge an entrance fee, visitors are able to pick up a pass at Homestead National Monument of America. Find a list of national parks with entrance fees at http://www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparksbystate.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.