Our great nation set aside a special day, May 30th, each year to remember those who gave their lives in their service to America’s military. That day used to be called “Decoration Day.” Now we know it as Memorial Day, and we celebrate it on the last Monday in May.
We must wonder how many people give any thought to the history and sacrifice behind this day off from most jobs. Yes, there are parades and celebrations, fireworks and picnics, but in honor of recreation or the ultimate dedication to the United States of America?
Our great state has meaningful opportunities for those who want to honor those who fought in our armed services. Georgia is home to many significant battlefields and forts that have been carefully preserved. A visit to one of these sites is a great way to teach children about our country’s rich history and honor those who have fallen.
These forts, museums and battlefields across Georgia offer insight into the lives of those who fought for our freedom.
Fort King George State Historic Site, Darien
From 1721 until 1736, this fort was the southern outpost of the British empire in North America. Climb into the reconstructed cypress blockhouse, explore the palisaded earthen fort and tabby ruins, tour the museum. Be sure to hike the pretty nature trail following the river and marsh. For those wishing to take a mini staycation while in the area, campsites and cabins are nearby at Fort McAllister and Skidaway Island state parks.
Fort Morris State Historic Site, Midway
This earthen fort on the Medway River protected Georgia against the British in both the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. A museum describes the colonial port of Sunbury, and a nature trail and picnic sites are available. For a holiday getaway, cabins and campsites are found nearby at Fort McAllister and Skidaway Island state parks.
Pickett’s Mill Battlefield State Historic Site, Dallas
Pickett’s Mill is one of the best-preserved Civil War battlefields in the nation, highlighted with a museum, earthworks and wooded trails. The 1864 battle was one of the few Confederate victories during General Sherman’s Georgia campaign. Water lovers may want to spend Memorial Day weekend nearby at Red Top Mountain State Park on Lake Allatoona, where they can also visit Allatoona Pass Battlefield.
A.H. Stephens State Historic Park, Crawfordville
This park is named for the Confederate Vice President, and his 1875 home, Liberty Hall, is furnished and open for tours. A museum houses one of the finest collections of Civil War artifacts in Georgia. Families can also enjoy geocaching, fishing, hiking and boating at the park. Campsites and cabins are available for overnight getaways.
Fort McAllister State Park, Richmond Hill
This beautiful park south of Savannah marked the end of General Sherman’s March to the Sea and is the best-preserved earthwork fortification of the Confederacy. On Saturday, May 24, watch a program about Civil War soldiers, as well as musket and cannon firings. Nestled among giant live oaks and Spanish moss, this park is also a great place for camping, hiking, fishing and boating. Cabins overlook the forest and marsh.
Georgia Veterans State Park, Cordele
Established as a memorial to U.S. veterans, this park features a museum with aircraft (including a Boeing B-29A), armored vehicles, uniforms, weapons, medals and other items from the Revolutionary War through the Gulf War. Park visitors can also enjoy camping, cabins, Lake Blackshear Resort, golf and boating.
Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites
Georgia’s state parks and historic sites are operated by the Department of Natural Resources and offer pristine natural beauty and a wide range of outdoor activities.