Governor Bob McDonnell announced today that Virginia State Parks will waive parking fees in honor of Veterans Day on November 11, 2013. Additionally, all 36 state parks, which are managed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, will offer special programming during the holiday weekend.
"Veterans Day is a time to reflect on the heroic sacrifices of the women and men of our armed services," Governor McDonnell said. "I encourage all Virginians to take time this year to thank one of the more than 840,000 veterans who call Virginia home. These initiatives at our beautiful state parks are another small way by which we can express our gratitude and honor their service to our Commonwealth and our nation."
Over the holiday weekend, Virginia State Parks will also present special nature and history programs, flag retirement ceremonies, and other events to honor veterans and their families.
Sailor's Creek Battlefield Historical State Park in Rice will feature a luminary program November 9. The program begins with a flag retirement ceremony and includes a living history walk with costumed interpreters along a luminary-lined trail. On Veterans Day the park will offer ranger-led tours of the Hillsman House, which served as a Federal field hospital during the evening of April 6, 1865.
Westmoreland State Park in Montross will host a Veterans Appreciation event on November 11. Attendees can write thank you notes to deployed troops and are invited to bring non-perishable items for care packages to accompany the thank you notes. Douthat State Park in Millboro will also offer an opportunity to write thank you notes to service men and women abroad. Belle Isle State Park in Lancaster, First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach, Powhatan State Park in Powhatan, and Shenandoah River State Park in Bentonville will be collecting and/or making care packages for service members on November 11.
On November 11, Wilderness Road State Park in Ewing will offer "Heroes of American History" a tribute to veterans featuring historical flags from the Revolutionary War to today's Old Glory as well as costumed interpreters representing service men and women through history.
High Bridge Trail State Park in Farmville will host a reception for veterans and their families at the Farmville Train Station on November 11. Shuttles will run from the train station to High Bridge for the opportunity to visit the bridge and enjoy a special Civil War history program.