Thanking America's Armed Forces | Events
St Marys, Ga. -- To show our appreciation for those who serve in the U.S. Military, on May 19 – Armed Forces Day – the National Park Service will begin issuing an annual pass offering free entrance to all 397 national parks for active duty military members and their dependents. “We are proud to recognize these brave men and women and hope that a visit to Cumberland Island National Seashore or any national park will offer an opportunity to for them to unwind, relax, rejuvenate, and just have fun with their families” stated Fred Boyles, Cumberland Island National Seashore Superintendent. The Annual National Park Pass, the Senior Pass, the Access Pass, and the new annual pass for Military members only waives the cost of entrance fees. Active duty members of the U.S. Military and their dependents can pick up their pass at the park’s visitor center located on the St Marys waterfront,at 113 St.Marys Street, in St.Marys Georgia . They must show a current, valid military identification card to obtain their pass. More information is available at www.nps.gov/findapark/passes.htm. These passes cover entrance fees only; they do not cover user fees such as the Cumberland Island Queen ferry fee, camping fees, or additional visitor fees at other parks. 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. Cumberland Island is the largest barrier island off the coast of Georgia, encompassing more than 36,000 acres of maritime forests, salt marsh and beaches. The island is also home to over 9,800 acres of Congressionally designated Wilderness. The island’s natural and cultural resources provide a rich and diverse habitat for wildlife and offer a glimpse into the long history of coastal Georgia. The Seashore is accessible by foot-only, passenger ferry from the historic community of St. Marys, Georgia and is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. 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.