The Heritage Tourist does not forget the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 and the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War, commemorations that continue through 2013 and 2014. Have you participated in any activities this year? We don't all live near where these events occur, but as we travel for our research or visiting family, be sure to check the schedules of these important on-going activities in the areas you visit.
Visit: http://www.visit1812.com/ - The Official War of 1812 Bicentennial Website - and click on the Events tab for a calendar of events. For example, on August 3, 2012, there are weekend celebrations in Sackets Harbor, NY (200th Anniversary of the Battle of Sackets Harbor, at the Sackets Harbor Battlefield) and Fremont, OH (200th Anniversary of the Battle of Fort Stephenson, at Fort Stephenson). The city of Fremont was built on the site of Fort Stephenson. Each has a local website to go to for further information. Individual states and locales, of course, each have their own information sites.
For the Civil War Sesquicentennial, you might visit: http://www.civilwar.org/150th-anniversary/. Key information is organized under: Events, News, History, and 150th Websites. Most states do have 150th sites - I get a monthly email newsletter from the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission, for example: http://www.arkansascivilwar150.com/enews/. What do you find is the best way to locate the events you want to observe?
In order to better remember and respect our heritage, it is important to keep informed on these kinds of activities in which you may want to participate in one way or another. Each of us will have our own way to approach these matters, but there are many, many resources we can now easily access to help us make effective plans.