The Role of the United States in the World Community Featured Parks

Since 1916, the American people have entrusted the National Park Service with the care of their national parks. With the help of volunteers and park partners, we safeguard these more than 400 places and share their stories with more than 275 million visitors every year. Find a few of those stories here and then Find a Park to find more of all Americans' stories.

The Statue of Liberty's meanings have continually changed since her dedication on October 28, 1886. During the late 19th century, one of the largest periods of immigration in American history, Liberty stood as a "Mother of Exiles," and provided thousands of immigrants with their first visual representation of America, liberty, and freedom. Throughout the 19th century, political instability, religious persecution, unstable economies, and vast unemployment prompted many Europeans to leave their homelands to take their chances on a better life in the United States. On the final stretch of their journey, as immigrants made their way into New York Harbor to the immigration station on Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty served as a colossal symbol of freedom and opportunity for all newcomers to the United States.

World War II. National parks tell the stories of America's WWII experience - from Pearl Harbor to the war's atomic end. Discover how a resilient America mobilized its people (and parks!) to triumph over tyranny. Explore places where technological and social barriers collapsed. Confront the war's darker legacies where America incarcerated its citizens and developed nuclear weapons. Stand atop soils where American blood was shed, coastlines defended, wounds were healed and valor was memorialized forever.

A Peace Park: Chamizal National Memorial in Texas is more than just an urban park to recreate or enjoy a quiet afternoon. These park grounds stand for peace;the peaceful settlement of a 100-year border dispute between nations. Not one shot was fired;not one war was waged. The memorial celebrates the culture of the borderland that helped to peacefully navigate an international argument.

Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial, Ohio. Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial was established to honor those who fought in the Battle of Lake Erie, during the War of 1812, and to celebrate the long-lasting peace among Britain, Canada and the U.S. The Memorial, a Doric column, rising 352 feet over Lake Erie is situated 5 miles from the longest undefended border in the world.

San Juan Island National Historical Park, Washington. San Juan Island is well known for splendid vistas, saltwater shore, quiet woodlands, orca whales and one of the last remaining native prairies in the Puget Sound/Northern Straits region. But it was also here in 1859 that the United States and Great Britain nearly went to war over possession of the island, the crisis ignited by the death of a pig.

Last updated: March 14, 2016