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Commemorate their Sacrifices at One of Cheapflights’ Top Places to Visit in Honor of Veterans Day
Veterans Day is an annual holiday honored each year on the eleventh day, of the eleventh month at the eleventh hour, when Americans across the country and around the world will celebrate the bravery and sacrifices of the nearly 25 million United States vets. For those looking for ways to pay your respect and commemorate this day, Cheapflights.com, the online leader in publishing travel deals, has put together its list of Top Places to Visit in Honor of Veterans Day featuring profound memorials, museums and battlefields across the country. From Arlington, Virginia, to Honolulu, Hawaii, this list offers new perspectives on being a veteran and the chance to honor those, current and past, who have served in the US military during times of war and peace.
Below are the first five of Cheapflights.com’s top places to honor our soldiers this Veterans Day:
Arlington National Cemetery – Arlington, VA - Arlington National Cemetery is an overwhelming and powerful place for any visitor, whether you have a personal connection there or not. The resting place to more than 250,000 American heroes, the cemetery is also home to the eternal flame at John F. Kennedy’s grave and other monuments like the famous Iwo Jima memorial. The national Veterans Day ceremonies take place every year at the Tomb of the Unknowns, including the laying of a presidential wreath and playing of Taps. Whether visitors go there to honor loved ones or see the historical sites, everyone leaves with a profound feeling patriotism and gratitude to the people who serve.
USS Arizona – Honolulu, Hawaii - Under the shallow waters of Pearl Harbor in Honolulu lies the USS Arizona battleship, sunk during the historical raid that sparked the United States’ entry into war with Japan in 1941. Beneath the heavy steel doors is the resting place of 1,102 sailors. Accessible by ferry, the memorial itself is a large white hall that floats across the width of the ship with large openings on both sides for visitors to peer into the crystal blue waters and view the ship below. Oil can still be seen trickling from the ship which is now referred to as “tears of the Arizona.” The USS Arizona is a deeply moving memorial that brings each visitor closer to the Pearl Harbor tragedy and to the lives of the sailors lost.
Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall – Washington, DC - When 21-year-old, Chinese-American student Maya Lin won a public competition for the design of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, it caused quite a controversy. Now, the reflective black wall, adorned with the names of almost 60,000 fallen soldiers, has become one of the most renowned memorials in the country. The wall is so polished that is reflects anyone looking into it, symbolic in bringing together deceased soldiers and visitors; the past and the present. Rubbings are done by loved ones and anything left at the wall, like flowers or stuffed animals, is catalogued and stored, never to be discarded. If seeing the Wall doesn’t fit into your schedule, consider visiting one of the two traveling walls, in Tempe, Arizona, and Fayetteville, North Carolina, this Veterans Day.
Liberty Memorial – Kansas City, MO - Veterans Day, formerly known as Armistice Day, was originally dedicated to sustaining world peace after what had been one of history’s most devastating wars: World War I. Liberty Memorial is dedicated to the fallen soldiers of the First World War and also home to the National World War I Museum. The most prominent exhibit at the museum is known as the “Western Front Poppy Field,” which houses 9,000 poppy flowers representing the 9 million combatant deaths. This November 11, the museum will hold its Veterans Day ceremony complete with the traditional laying of the wreath as well as keynote speakers and music performances. Admission for all visitors on Veterans Day is free.
Gettysburg Battlefield – Gettysburg, PA - The last war to be fought on American soil was the Civil War, and one of its most renowned battles was that of Gettysburg, where around 50,000 casualties were suffered. Now visitors can step back in time and stroll through the battlefields, see where Lincoln delivered his famous “Gettysburg Address” at the Soldiers’ National Cemetery, tour the museum and even horseback ride along the trails. For a war that was so long ago, Gettysburg is the place where it becomes real and the sacrifices soldiers made become tangible. The gentle hills and scenic beauty of Gettysburg seems to appropriately balance its tragic history.
Rounding out the list of Cheapflights.com’s Top 10 Places to Visit in Honor of Veterans Day are the National Veterans Art Museum in Chicago, IL; Navajo Nation Veterans Memorial Park in Window Rock, AZ; African American Civil War Memorial & Museum in Washington, DC; Veterans Day Parade in New York, NY and Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum in Mount Pleasant, SC.