Gold Star families could get free access to national parks
BAR HARBOR, Maine (AP) — Families of people who died during military service would receive free access to national parks if Congress approves a proposal from two Maine lawmakers.
Democratic Rep. Jared Golden and independent Sen. Angus King said their proposal would honor Gold Star families with free entrance to the National Park Service’s locations and other federally managed public lands.
Golden, a Marine veteran, said the proposal is common sense because “families of fallen servicemembers should have free access to our country’s most treasured places.” King called it “simply the right thing to do.”
The proposal has support from veterans groups and organizations that advocate for access to public land.
“We applaud this effort to increase access to the restorative powers of nature, and the touchstones of our shared cultural heritage for Gold Star Family Members who have endured the hardships and heartaches associated with the sacrifices made by their loved ones to defend this country,” said David MacDonald, president of Friends of Acadia, which advocates for Acadia National Park.