Thank You, Veterans

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
(1st stanza of the poem “In Flanders Fields,” by John McCrae, 1915)

The 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 marked the “end” of the “war to end all wars.” Since then, Nov. 11 (first as Armistice Day and now as Veterans Day) has been our national day of remembrance and celebration of the men and women who have served in the United States armed forces. (There was a brief stretch from 1971 to 1977 when Veterans Day was a Monday holiday, but in 1978 we went back to Nov. 11 as the official observance.)

Most sites on the Trails of History are closed today, but Fort Pitt, the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, and the Pennsylvania Military Museum are open. As is the case throughout the year at all Trails of History sites, active duty military and their dependents will receive complimentary regular admission (roughly 2,000 folks have taken us up on that offer so far this year).

PHMC/Pennsylvania Military Museum

Pennsylvania’s First Lady, Susan Corbett, wrote a very nice article for last Sunday’s Harrisburg Patriot-News encouraging Pennsylvanians to visit the Commonwealth’s military heritage museums, including the PHMC’s Military Trail of History sites. If you visit the Pennsylvania Military Museum today (or in the next month), you’ll be able to catch two temporary exhibits (“Religion and Conflict” and “Santa’s Draft Card”) in addition to the museum’s current long-term exhibit.

This past weekend, the Railroad Museum of PA held its annual Trains & Troops event, which features military reenactors and equipment amid the collection of locomotives and railcars from various eras. The event highlights the role of railroads in US military history and honors the service of our veterans (an exhibit and video presentation in the lobby showcases the military service of museum staff and volunteers). The Lancaster Intelligencer Journal/New Era covered the event here.

However you choose to spend Veterans Day, please join the PHMC in saying “Thank you” to those who have served and who are currently serving.


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