Veterans Day is more than another long weekend. This year, use the extra holiday to plan a trip that honors vets by visiting some of the sites where military history was made. These are a few of our favorites, and please share the ones your family loves in the comments section!
This floating museum in Boston’s harbor stages reenactments of the protest that kicked off the Revolutionary War, and kids can even dump some tea overboard with their own hands. The restored tea ships and multi-media exhibits make this a great option for even the youngest of your crew that might lose interest in the more somber memorials.
Start with a visit to the Gettysburg Museum, which features Civil War artifacts as well as the famous Gettysburg Cyclorama, the 360 degree, three-ton painting that depicts the battle. You can then walk through the park, visit the soldiers’ cemetery and see the spot where Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address.
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, the bombing that launched America’s armed forces into World War II. Important sites include the USS Arizona Memorial, which floats above the hull of the downed battleship and is accessible only by boat, as well as the USS Missouri, where the Japanese surrendered. Worth noting: the box office gives out 1,300 free tickets to the USS Arizona every day, so come early or buy a tour ahead of time.
This two-acre memorial on the National Mall features one of the most powerful and moving tributes to the fallen soldier, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. The wall, designed by architect Maya Lin, features over 58,000 names of the service men and women who died in Vietnam, with the names listed in chronological ordered based on casualty date. Rangers are on hand throughout the day to answer questions kids might have.
New York City
This moving memorial and museum is dedicated to the lives lost in the twin towers, but when it comes to explaining some of the current armed conflicts, this is Ground Zero in more ways than one. Note that the content can be difficult for younger children, so this may be a better visit for the tweens and teens.