Tribute to the Founder of Veterans Day

Patriotism in Action Tribute to the Founder of National Veterans Day

Mission: To pay tribute to the man and city that launched the National Veterans Day movement in America and inspire more patriotic action.

November 10, 4:30-5 p.m.
Raymond Weeks Memorial
Linn Park, Birmingham

Organizer: Col. Bob Barefield,
chair, Patriotism in Action

Emcee: Dr. David Dyson, founder,
Life Leaders, co-author, Patriotism in Action

Partner Program Links

2017 National Veterans Day Birmingham Schedule of Events (PDF)

Profile of the “Driving Force” for America’s Veterans Day

Raymond Weeks, WWII Veteran from Birmingham and, as a child, Phenix City, AL:

  • Petitioned General Eisenhower in 1946 at the Pentagon to establish “National Veterans Day 1947” and to host the two days of events in Birmingham
  • Hosted the first national celebration to honor veterans of all wars in 1947, in Birmingham, including General Omar Bradley as speaker at the World Peace Dinner and the Veterans Day Parade featuring flags of United Nations carried by native sons of member countries or Boy Scouts
  • Established the National Veteran Award to honor an outstanding veteran for the nation annually, hosted in Birmingham
  • Honored by President Reagan in 1982 as the “driving force” for America’s Veterans Day in a speech to the nation via television, called “the Father of Veterans Day” in the briefing by Elizabeth Dole
  • Served as director of National Veterans Day events for approximately 40 years
  • Led the campaign to place the Eternal Flame of Freedom in Linn Park of Birmingham
  • Honored “by a grateful nation” with a monument in Linn Park, across from the traditional home of Veterans Day events, Boutwell Auditorium, and City Hall
  • Confirmed by the Mayor of Birmingham, Governor of Alabama, and the United States Senate for his leadership establishing the holiday commemoration

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