Oftentimes, the true meaning and history of the Fourth of July fly under the radar as we celebrate our nation’s Independence Day. While it is a celebration of our incredible nation and our freedom in general, it’s important to remember the history that led us here and to commemorate those that fought, and still fight, so hard for our freedom.

If you want to remember and learn more about some of the monumental historic events that led our country to how it is today, check out these 3 ways to incorporate history into your 4th of July celebrations.

Visit A Monument or Museum

National monuments and museums are full of stories and artifacts that show how our nation’s history has unfolded over the years. There’s the obvious Washington D.C. to see the Lincoln Memorial, Capitol building, and Washington Monument, but there are several other places you can stop by to catch a glimpse into America’s history. Visit New York City to visit the 9/11 Memorial to commemorate those civilians and service men and women that we lost in the attack. While in the city, climb up to the Statue of Liberty for an incredible view. Take a trip to Keystone, South Dakota to see four of America’s greatest presidents’ faces carved into the granite of Mount Rushmore.

Tour A Revolutionary War Battle Site

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that so many people had to fight and still fight for the freedom that we all enjoy today, and visiting a national battle site from the Revolutionary War is a great way to remind yourself of the sacrifices made for our freedom. Set foot in Minute Man National Historical Park in Concord, Lincoln, and Lexington, Massachusetts to instantly be transported to the Revolutionary War days. This park is the site of “the shot heard around the world,” and is where the first actual battle took place. You can also travel more south to Colonial National Historical Park in Yorktown, Virginia where General Cornwallis surrendered, ending the last major battle of the Revolutionary War.

Watch A Historic Movie

If your Fourth of July weather turns out to be rainy, or if you simply want to wind down the day with a movie, here are a couple choices to entertain and educate at the same time. The Patriot is an obvious choice for the perfect patriotic movie to watch during your Fourth of July holiday. Mel Gibson stars in this Revolutionary War film which tells the story of a farmer fighting in the militia to avenge his son’s death by British soldiers. Its enticing plot line along with real historical elements combine in a great telling of the Revolutionary War period. Another thrilling patriotic cinematic piece you can watch to get in the patriotic spirit is Glory, which tells the story of Robert Gould Shaw and the infantrymen of the first all-black volunteer company to fight against the Confederates.