State Parks Set For Veterans Day

Published 4:11 pm Tuesday, November 6, 2012

FARMVILLE – Veterans will be welcomed as honored guests in all 35 of Virginia's state parks, six of which are in the Farmville area, on Sunday, Veterans Day.

Parking and admission fees will be waived on November 11, not only for those who served in the military so that the nation's flag would ever wave over the land of the free and the home of the brave, but for all visitors, too.

Special programs in recognition of Veterans Day will be held in each state park.

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“Veterans Day is an important opportunity to honor the legacy of the one-in-eight Virginians who serve or have served in the armed forces. They deserve our eternal thanks for putting themselves in harm's way to protect our freedom,” said Governor Bob McDonnell, announcing the Veteran's Day honor.

“In addition to special programs around the state,” the governor continued, “we are pleased to offer free admission to Virginia's State Parks for all visitors on November 11, in recognition of the valiant service of our veterans.

“This is a small gesture of appreciation,” Governor McDonnell said, “for the women and men who have given so much to defend our liberty and freedom. I encourage Virginians to visit a state park and discover first-hand our Commonwealth's beauty and wonders.”

Beauty and wonders that many of those who served in the military will never see again, because they paid the utmost price and made the ultimate sacrifice.

Sailor's Creed Battlefield Historical Park near Rice will light 500 luminaries and host guided battlefield walks at 6 p.m.

Flag retirement ceremonies will be held at many state parks, including the James River State Park in Buckingham at 6 p.m.

High Bridge Trail State Park has a variety of Veterans Appreciation observances set, with a reception at the Farmville Train Station for veterans and their families from 1-5 p.m. Hors D'oeuvres and beverage refreshments will be provided.

Shuttles will be offered from the train station to High Bridge, the last shuttle running to the bridge at 4 p.m. and the last shuttle from High Bridge to the train station at 5 p.m.

History-based programs will be provided at High Bridge from 1:30-4:30 p.m., with the focus on the lives and demise of James Dearing and Thomas Smyth, the last Confederate and Union General officers to die in the Civil War.

Park guests are also invited to enjoy the trail by traveling it from River Road to High Bridge. Longwood University ROTC members and volunteers will be on hand at the River Road parking area between 1-4:30 p.m. to provide assistance to those who may need help traversing the nine-tenths of a mile to High Bridge.

Although the activities will focus on honoring the nation's veterans, all of the activities will be open to the public. (Call the park office at 434-315-0457 or email for more information).

Bear Creek Lake State Park in Cumberland will host a special Veteran's Day event, and Holliday Lake State Park in Buckingham will host a Veteran's Day Geocache event at 10 a.m., with Twin Lakes State Park in Prince Edward holding a Veteran's Day Hike at 2 p.m.

For details on these and other planned special events, call toll-free 1-800-933-PARK (7275)