Veterans Day visits to historic sites

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Celebrate Veterans Day at New York's many historic sites where American veterans helped shape NY state and our national history.

The following sites will be open to the public to commemorate Veterans Day, which takes place on Tuesday, November 11th:

Bennington Battlefield, Rensselaer County. Visit the location of an August 1777 Revolutionary War battle that was critical to the later American victory in the Battles of Saratoga. Grounds will be open Veterans Day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Herkimer Home, Herkimer County. Visit the home of Revolutionary War hero General Nicholas Herkimer. Although seriously wounded in the leg, Herkimer kept command during the fierce combat of the Battle of Oriskany. He later died of his wounds and was immediately viewed a martyr to the cause of American freedom, and his home became a shrine. The grounds of the home are open from dawn to dusk.

National Purple Heart Hall of Honor, Orange County. The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor in New York's Hudson River Valley honors the men and women who have been awarded the Purple Heart. The Hall of Honor will conduct a brief ceremony and wreath laying in commemoration of Veterans Day, which will take place outside, weather permitting, by the flag poles at the Hall of Honor at 2 p.m.

At 2:30 p.m. there will be a brief tribute to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the formal start to the Vietnam War. Seating for this portion of the free program is limited and reservations are strongly recommended. To make a reservation, call 845-561-1765.

Old Fort Niagara, Niagara County. Commemorate the centennial of World War One by learning about Fort Niagara's role in the conflict. The program begins at 2:00 pm on Veterans Day at the Fort Niagara Officers Club and then moves to Fort Niagara State Park for a walking tour of the World War One Army base. Meet a U.S. Doughboy from the era and learn about the challenges faced by the United States when we entered the war in 1917. Admission is free.

New Windsor Cantonment, Orange County. The New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site will take part in an off-site cooperative Veterans Day program with the Temple Hill Association to relay the events that led to a duel between top officers of the Contintental Army in the Revolutionary War. The program will take place Sunday, Nov. 9 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Edmonston House, located at 1042 Route 94 in New Windsor. Admission is free. For more information, call (845) 561-1765 ext. 22.

Sackets Harbor Battlefield, Jefferson County.Visit Sackets Harbor Battlefield, a center of American naval and military activity in the War of 1812. The grounds will be open dawn to dusk.

Stony Point Battlefield, Rockland County. Visit Stony Point Battlefield, the site of a decisive Revolutionary War battle during which American forces seized control of the Hudson River from the British. The grounds will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In addition to the above list, museums like the New York State Military Museum, forts and battlefields like Fort Stanwix, and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point allow members of the public to visit and commemorate veterans. Information on these and other sites can be found on the Path Through History website, http://www.iloveny.com/paththroughhistory.

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees 180 state parks and 35 historic sites. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit www.nysparks.com