With Armed Forces Day right around the corner, we thought it might be a good idea to shed some light on military destinations for our readers that love history. In case you didn’t know, Armed Forces Day is celebrated on the third Saturday in May each year and exists so Americans can honor men and women who served in the United States’ armed forces.
Of course, there’s the obvious destinations like The Alamo, Pearl Harbor, and The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier that attract millions of people each year, but there are some other little known stops that may not be on your military history bucket list, but should be. If you aren’t able to make it to any of these sites this year, there are many events and celebrations that take place during the week of Armed Forces Week that honor people who serve. Find an event near you and let your patriotism fly free! And do yourself a favor and try to make it to one of these historic sites below!
Maybe learning anything and everything about past presidents is your cup of tea. If this is true, you can’t miss out on visiting the state of Illinois. In the town of Springfield, you’ll find the Lincoln Tomb, which is the final resting place of Abraham Lincoln, his wife Mary Todd Lincoln, and three of their four sons. Made of granite, the tomb has a single-story rectangular base and has a semicircular crypt on the other side. The tomb was also one of the first sites to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Obelisk Square, located in Indianapolis, is a modest but respected site that improves Indiana’s Veteran’s Memorial Plaza. The obelisk is typically a stone square or rectangle pillar that has a cross section and pyramid top. Obelisk Square was completed in 1930 and is there to honor and remember all Indianan veterans and their heroic efforts.
Before the Tuskegee Airmen, there were no African-American U.S. pilots. In 1917, these men tried to become pilots, but were rejected time and time again. African-American Eugene Bullard served in the French Army air service, but wasn’t allowed to serve here in the U.S. These rejections raised the desire for African-American men to become part of the air service. The men were eventually trained at the Tuskegee Army Air Field in Tuskegee, Alabama in 1941. These men were important stepping stones to racial equality in America. They were the Tuskegee Airmen of World War ll.
Possibly one of the most significant but little known destinations for history lovers is the Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine in Baltimore. It certainly is a can’t-miss opportunity for any American patriot. There is a brick fortress located at Baltimore Harbor, and it is said to be the spot where The Star Spangled Banner author, Francis Scott Key, was inspired to write the tune.
This historically rich site is one of the more well known destinations in the United States. The Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument commemorate the Battle of the Little Bighorn, which is when the Lakota and Cheyenne tribes won against the United States troops in 1876.
If you love learning anything about World War ll, you might want to take a trip to the USS Alabama, which is one of the two South Dakota-class battleships that was active during World War ll. The Memorial Park also allows visitors to learn all about the ship’s story up to today!
Travel to New Hampshire and get a glimpse inside the USS Albacore, a high-tech submarine that was rather advanced and developed for its time during the Cold War. It is now permanently sitting at Portsmouth Docks.
Fort Mercer was built in 1777 during the American Revolutionary War. It was named after Brigadier General Hugh Mercer, who had died at the Battle of Princeton. The fort is now a part of New Jersey’s National Park where there is a monument commemorating the historical events.
In North Dakota, you’ll find endless statues honoring our 26th president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt. Tons of parks and public areas in the state pay tribute to Roosevelt, with great statues displaying him in his military uniform on a horse.
The Liberty Bell is a crucial element when talking about American history. The bell, located in Philadelphia, is a symbol of freedom after the American Civil War and can be seen near Independence Hall.
There are a few obvious selections when thinking about which military destinations to visit with your family, and The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas is one of them! The Alamo is where the battle took place between Texas and Mexico in 1836. It’s probably one of the most visited landmarks in Texas because of its popularity and is legendary in terms of history and patrimony.
Head to Richmond and you’ll get an incredibly historical town with Colonial history, Civil war history and African American history. Once you’re there, don’t forget to walk the pavements of Monument Avenue, which is the only avenue to be classified as a National Historic Landmark.
This is another one of those obvious destinations every history buff should have on their bucket list. Take a trip to Pearl Harbor for an incredibly surreal and moving experience. The specific Harbor is the largest in the state and is still an active military base to this day. Pearl Harbor is known for being targeted by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service in 1941, which forced the United States to become part of World War ll.