November 2011 - Veteran's Day - Heroes Remembered Along I-95
Driving North or South along the US East Coast?



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Heroes who made it possible for us to live in our free country are remembered up and down I-95. When you think about it, this was the King's Highway and Old Post Road, and most of the early wars took place up and down this stretch of the US. Leave some time on your journey to stop and honor these brave soldiers who fought so we could live in peace. Most of these are FREE to visit.

MA -

Revolutionary Heroes

MD - War of 1812 Heroes
VA - Civil War Heroes
VA - WWII, Vietnam, Korean War Heroes
NC -
Airborne Heroes
FL - Underwater Heroes

MA - Revolutionary Heroes

MA Exit 31: Lexington - It was on the morning of April 19th, 1775 that 77 farmers and tradesmen, as part of the Lexington militia, assembled on the Lexington Common to defend their town. They wanted to prevent about 750 British light infantry from destroying a supply of arms in Concord. Captain John Parker, a likeness of whom stands proudly on this spot today, was quoted as saying "Stand your ground; don't fire unless fired upon; but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here."Lexington Minuteman Statue

Captain Parker, noticing he was outnumbered, ordered his men to disperse and not to fire. As they started to leave, a shot of unknown origin rang out and the British fired a return volley killing 8 Minutemen (7 are buried under the obelisk) and wounding 10, with 1 Redcoat wounded.

George Washington wrote in his diary "the first blood was spilt in the dispute with Great Britain". The Revolutionary War had started. After the battle, Samuel Adams exclaimed to John Hancock, "What a glorious morning for America!". Leave time to go on to Concord for the next part of the battle.

You can get oriented at the Lexington Battle Green and Visitor Center. First take a look at the historic diorama depicting the battle on the Green, and ask about free Battle Green tours (Apr-Oct). The Liberty Ride Trolley (, with 15 stops amongst Lexington and Concord is a good way to get an overview of the battles that day. 1875 Massachusetts Ave. Tel: 781-862-1450.

MD - War of 1812 Heroes

MD Mile 56: Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine - When driving through the Fort McHenry Tunnel, you are now driving under the very water that Francis Scott Key was stuck in on September 13 and 14, 1814 during the War of 1812. Key, a lawyer, had boarded the British flagship to secure the release of a friend.

He watched a gigantic flag with 15 white stars and 15 red and white stripes flutter defiantly on the ramparts of Fort McHenry. Sewn by Mary Young Pickersgill, her daughter Caroline, nieces and servants, it was so large (30' x 42') that it could not be stitched in their home, so they had completed it in a Baltimore brewery. She was paid $574.44 to make it.

Key waited out the 24 hours in "shock and awe", as the British fired off 200-lb. bombs, which often blew up prematurely in mid-air. At night they sent up signal rockets which burned in flaming arcs across the sky. Through all of that, at dawn Key was amazed to see Mary's flag still waving and the Fort intact.Fort McHenry

Overcome with emotion, he wrote some phrases on the back of a letter. It was his brother-in-law who suggested singing the poem to the meter of a British drinking song, "To Anacreon in Heaven". The song was an instant hit, but it took Congress until 1931 to designate it as the US national anthem. If you want to see the flag, it is still a moving sight; it is displayed in the Smithsonian Institute, which is down I-95 a bit.

It's only about an hour pitstop to tour Fort McHenry. In the summer months there are daily ranger talks, weekend living history, and drill, musket and artillery demonstrations. Enjoy the 10 famous people singing The Anthem. Do not miss the 10-minute orientation film with its surprise ending! 2400 East Fort Ave. Tel: 410-962-4290.


VA - Civil War Heroes

VA Exit 52: From June 9, 1864 to March 25, 1865 Petersburg was a divided city with 30 miles of trenches separating the blues and grays. On June 25, 1864 Union soldiers of the 48th PA volunteers, mostly coal miners, began digging a 511 ft. tunnel toward a Confederate fort at Pegram's (or Elliott's) Salient. It took a month to dig, and the plan was to explode 4 tons of gunpowder under the area, creating a large gap in their defense line, then to pour troops through the hole. On July 30 at 4:45 am the mine was detonated, and it created a crater about 170 ft. long, 60 ft. wide and 30 ft. deep.The crater in Petersburg

The Union troops rushed forward into the tunnel, instead of going around it. They got stuck in it because of the high walls created at the end, and Confederate troops inflicted more than 4,000 Federal casualties. Major Houghton of the 14th NY Heavy Artillery reported that the hole was "filled with dust, great blocks of clay, guns, broken carriages, projecting timbers and men buried in various ways - some up to their necks, others to their waists, and some only with their feet and legs protruding from the earth", and then "blood was streaming down the sides of the crater to the bottom, where it gathered in pools for a long time before being absorbed by the hard red clay."

The crater can still be seen at the Petersburg National Battlefield through short trails or a 4-mile drive. 1539 Hickory Hill Rd. Tel: 804-732-3531 Ext 200.


VA - WWII, Vietnam, Korean War Heroes

VA Exit 150A: Marine Corps Museum - Adjacent to the Marine Corps base in Quantico VA, the soaring design of the National Museum of the Marine Corps evokes the image of the flag-raisers of Iwo Jima. Go through marine boot camp and follow interactive exhibits through the WWII Pacific Theatre.USMC Museum

Learn about fighting the Korean war on the streets of Seoul and then to the hamlets, jungles and rice patties of Vietnam, where helicopters meant the difference between life and death. Irreplaceable artifacts, including aircraft and tanks (A-4 Skyhawk is a movie screen) immerse you in the sights and sounds of Marines in action.

Grab a bite of Colonial cuisine (venison fricasse, peanut soup) in the replica Tun Tavern, the birthplace of the Corps, and buy some cool gifts at the store, like Marine Monopoly or gung ho sauce. Tel: 877-635-1775 or 703-784-2607.

NC - Airborne Heroes

NC Exit 46: Fayetteville - The legends of those who jump into battle are covered at theParachutes at ASOM Museum Airborne & Special Operations Museum in artifacts and film. The impressive 5-story glass walled lobby sets the stage, with 2 fully deployed parachutes: a WW II era T-5 round chute and a modern MC-4 square chute. Look for the story of Lieutenant Bill Ryder, leader of the Test Platoon, who on August 16th, 1940 became the first American soldier to jump.

You can walk through a section of a C-47, sit on crates in a WW II Army briefing hut, learn about gliders that landed jeeps and bulldozers, see a famous UH-1 (Huey) helicopter from 'Nam days and a Desert Storm hide-site. Another exhibit traces the development of the Special Forces, or "Green Berets", from the summer of 1952 to today's Operation Enduring Freedom. 100 Bragg Blvd. Tel: 910- 643-2779.

FL - Underwater Heroes

FL Exit 131: Fort Pierce - The ground you walk on at the National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum really is the birthplace of Navy Frogmen - and you can see their green-faced camouflage here. Navy Seal MuseumLearn that Navy Combat Demolition Units (NCDU), Underwater Demolition Teams (UDT) and Sea, Air and Land Teams (SEALs) are the only military areas in which officers and enlisted men train together.

Enjoy learning about World War II missions (along with a real peace treaty from the Philippines), Apollo training crafts, a Huey helicopter, weapons and underwater gear. Outside you can imagine being submersed in water inside the small submersible. See if you can find a TV Survivor (and one in real life!). Remember too, it was the Seals that took Osama Bin Laden down. 3300 N. Highway A1A. Tel: 772-595-5845.

What's inside Drive I-95 5th Edition: Here's a FREE look

Look ahead exit by exit to see which motels (with 800 numbers), gas stations, restaurants, campgrounds, 24-hour pharmacies, auto mechanics, radio stations or radar traps are there, and where you can stay with your pet. We share our stories of the road : history on I-95, museums, trivia, towns to explore or places to run the kids. These can be read for entertainment during the drive, and may entice you to stop, stretch your legs and discover someplace new.

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