National Parks Service week a chance to reflect on what VNMP means to Vicksburg, our history

Published 10:23 pm Saturday, April 15, 2017

Vicksburg just would not be the same.

If the city did not have the Vicksburg National Military Park, Vicksburg just would not be the same.

This week, we mark the annual National Parks Week, honoring the service for what they do, the landmarks they maintain and the history they preserve.

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Including the Vicksburg National Military Park, the National Park Service operates more than 400 sites including national monuments, historical sites, national parks and historical parks. In all, more than 80 million acres are under the watch of the National Park Service.

National Parks Week, which kicked off Saturday and will continue through Sunday, April 23, is just one moment for the service to again demonstrate what it means to our history, our culture.

This weekend, and next weekend, admission throughout the National Park Service has been waived, giving yet another reason to get out and enjoy what this federal agency protects and defends.

Hundreds of thousands of guests come through the Vicksburg National Military Park each year. They come for many reasons; to get up close to history, to be able to touch history in the U.S.S. Cairo or to simply enjoy the majestic vistas that can be found at nearly every corner of the park.

While the economic impact to Vicksburg for such an attraction is easy to quantify, the impact the park has had on the way of life in Vicksburg and the preservation of our history is much more difficult to measure.

Like we said earlier, Vicksburg just would not be the same without the park.

That can also be said for the nation as a whole.

Without the National Park Service, preservation of such iconic locations such as the Grand Canyon, Washington Monument, Crater Lake or the Redwood Forest would be up for grabs, or left unprotected.

For a century, the National Park Service has carried out its mission in tremendous form and continues doing so today.

Our history is no less important today than it was a century ago, but since the inception of the National Park Service, our history has a bright and safe future.