Advance Alabama

Proposal to Leaders of Alabama, particularly education, government, veterans and civil rights organizations, tourism and commerce…calling for us to take action before the World Games 2021

Opportunity: Alabama can earn branding in our nation and globally as a leader advancing freedoms of liberty and rights, as well as freedom to flourish, before the World Games in Birmingham, 2021.

Problem: Less than 50% of the citizens of Alabama (many suggest less than 5%) know the national and state history of America’s federal commemoration of veterans started in Alabama in 1947.

Strategy: Teach the often missing history to all students along with the character traits modeled by the leadership and action.


To advance Alabama branded for national movements for Veterans Day, Civil Rights, and Plan for School & Life.

Alabama’s Unique Story

Dr. David Dyson speaks to the Civitan Club of Birmingham about advancing Alabama students and state plus branding before the World Games 2021

America’s National Veterans Day started in Birmingham in 1947 after Raymond Weeks gained support for the concept with Gen. Eisenhower in 1946. We honor veterans of all wars for securing our Freedom of Liberty.

Because we had more freedom and security after WW II, we could focus on higher level human needs like rights. If we had lost WW II to Hitler and the Nazis, America may not have had a Civil Rights Movement.

Alabama became the “cradle of the Civil Rights Movement,” which came to a tipping point in 1963. Birmingham, Montgomery, Selma, and Tuscaloosa contributed significantly to the movement, along with other cities in the South such as Atlanta and Memphis.

Now, Americans enjoy liberty and civil rights. Because we have Freedom of Liberty and Freedom of Rights, Freedom Lives. We have Freedom to Flourish. Now, what will leaders and other good citizens do?

This is national history that includes lessons in motivation and a call to every citizen–students and adults alike–that we have opportunity and obligation to take action on our Freedom to Flourish provided by veterans and civil rights “foot soldiers.”

Summary of Actions to Succeed

  1. Teach the state and national history of Veterans Day Founding connected to Civil Rights and character traits in all Alabama schools. Only an estimated 1-5% of U.S. citizens even know this national history based in Alabama. The State is losing positive branding as well as revenue from events and tourism. The key is citizen awareness by teaching them while in school–press coverage of events is helpful though not enough to sustain. Most well-intentioned teachers have not been given the motivation through mandate nor the resources to teach the history and character traits. The mandate and motivation can come from educators and legislators. Life Leaders has created the top web site in America on Veterans Day Founding Education. Life Leaders can provide the information and help teachers edit to put the material in a form helpful to them. Educators can make sure Veterans Day teachings and events include the “who, when, where” (Raymond Weeks and Gen. Eisenhower, 1947, Birmingham, Alabama) of founding the national commemoration. And, educators can dig deeper in at least one grade to link the history of Veterans Day and Civil Rights to character traits. Students will internalize better the character traits like “patriotism, courage, and perseverance” if they receive teaching and assignments to take action with plans for school and life that apply the lessons learned. Life Leaders wants to provide the materials for state and nation, in cooperation with teachers.
  2. Teach the 25 character traits adopted by Alabama in 1995, especially those aligned with the movements for Veterans Day and Civil Rights led in the State: Patriotism, Courage, Perseverance, Loyalty, and Citizenship. Life Leaders advocates adding five traits and values that fit our national history, especially in Alabama: Freedom, Peace, Trust, Honor, and Leadership. Life Leaders and authors Dr. Dyson and Col. Dunn provide short sample lessons on the 10 traits in the book, Patriotism in Action, offered free to download.
  3. Require and reward students to write Plans for School and Life to help them identify and internalize greater sense of purpose and priorities plus outline and communicate plans to develop and achieve preparation for college-career-citizenship. This is a known best practice for student, personal, and professional development–we just need to implement, improve performance, and add a positive brand this initiative started in Alabama. This addition to student teaching and development is wanted by over 90% of parents and alumni of schools and colleges, who have been surveyed by Dr. Dyson. Leadership is required to reward this best practice just like when a teacher or professor adds value for desired learning and behavior in a syllabus stating what gets rewarded for grades. Suggesting goals by speakers is not enough to sustain. Leaders must follow empowerment principles to reward or require to establish process for desired behavior. Alabama can lead the nation on this common sense addition and improve student performance–if we act. Expect attitude, attendance, and achievement to improve. Life Leaders is ready to lead and serve with education and government leaders.

Will a student likely do better if she is helped to go through the process of discovering purpose, priorities, and possibilities in school and life? Yes.

What if he is rewarded with grades to write his plans for school and life to boost inspiration and to seek answers to questions such as career options and desired character traits, plus get better feedback from parents, teachers, coaches, and counselors? Yes.

Most people feel they know these concepts.
It’s time to implement.
Leadership takes action.

Will this help teachers and students, future professionals…? Yes!


  • Brand Alabama for national contributions to Freedoms (in addition to “The Yellowhammer State”). Alabama is the only state leading on all three major freedoms: Liberty, Rights, and Flourish (national movements for Veterans Day, Civil Rights, and Plans for School & Life).
  • Brand Alabama for starting the national movement for America’s Veterans Day (less than 1-5% of Americans know).
  • Alabama can provide the top national resource for teachers of history and character traits for Veterans Day.
  • Top resource for teachers of Rights connected to Veterans Day and Freedom to Flourish.
  • Brand Alabama as a top destination for events and travel among those who care about Freedom, Rights, and Patriotism.
  • Resource for teachers of students to Plan for School & Life with Best-Self Leadership.
  • Future national distinctions will emerge faster as citizens improve sense of purpose, planning, and character traits development.

Key Web Pages to State Our Case

The United States Senate passed a resolution 2012 initiated by Patriotism in Action of Life Leaders America on behalf of the State of Alabama, City of Birmingham, and National Veterans Day in Birmingham restoring historical leadership for founding Veterans Day to Birmingham, Alabama, and Raymond Weeks, who invested 40 years in Veterans Day.

The U.S. Senate Resolution affirms the national history and leadership of Alabama for establishing America’s Veterans Day in 1947. Thanks to Senators Sessions and Shelby and their staffs for leading our initiative in Congress. This resolution (PDF) updated the resolution passed in 2003 citing another state for starting Veterans Day (seven years after Birmingham launched) without mention of Alabama or founder Mr. Raymond Weeks, who had been honored by President Reagan in 1982 as the “driving force” for America’s Veterans Day. This resolution was a major milestone in the campaign launched 2012 by Life Leaders and our Patriotism in Action Program intended to restore, protect, and advance the legacy of Alabama, the City of Birmingham, and Mr. Raymond Weeks, who gave 40 years of his life dedicated to honoring veterans and Alabama. The legacy is restored. It will sustain when we add this national history (often missing each November) to lesson plans and expectations.

Governor of Alabama signed this proclamation in 2012 affirming Veterans Day started in Alabama and calling on Veterans Affairs, Education, Tourism to act…

The proclamation proposed by Life Leaders and our Patriotism in Action Program, endorsed by National Veterans Day, “put a stake in the ground” affirming Alabama’s role establishing America’s Veterans Day and its importance to those who serve Veterans Affairs, Education, and Tourism because their jobs help ensure success and sustainability.

Links to Organizations

These organization have missions to serve citizens related to Alabama as national destination for groups who commemorate Veterans Day, Patriotism, Human Rights, Freedom, Education, and helping people Plan and Lead in Life.

Let us know of others advancing Alabama. If you know people serving those areas, please encourage them to expand educating and branding Alabama for national distinctions.

Concept Explanation

Advance Alabama seeks to add and support strategic thinking, planning, and action focusing first on educating the state and nation on the national distinctions for the Veterans Day and Civil Rights movements. Alabama is the only state that led on establishing both movements.

Another state claims to have had the idea for Veterans Day in 1953, seven years after Birmingham and Alabama hosted the first event to honor veterans of all wars. Well-intentioned teachers have offered erroneous lessons found on the Internet because Alabama has not finished the mission of educating students and the public. The U.S. Senate affirmed Alabama officially in 2012. Now, we must lead to install lesson plans to teach students in Alabama plus across the nation.

Multiple cities claim to be “cradle of the Civil Rights Movement,” with Birmingham, Montgomery, Selma, and Tuscaloosa each a site of major historical events connected to the Movement. These cities in Alabama collectively make the state the “cradle” for historical events.

History supports Alabama for Veterans Day (Freedom of Liberty) and Civil Rights (Freedom of Rights). Now, Alabama can plan to serve the nation as leader for events and education supporting these national movements. Because of Liberty and Rights provided by veterans and military as well as foot soldiers, we have more Freedom to Flourish.

Millions of students in the USA hear and see lessons on Veterans Day and Human Rights annually. We can help their teachers provide history (that many do not know) that includes where and how Veterans Day started and its connection to Human Rights as well as character traits taught in good schools, such as: Patriotism, Courage, Perseverance, and Citizenship.

If you want students to receive this type of information and inspiration, contact Life Leaders. We need your advocacy and assistance to get invited to provide briefings, proposals, and services. We can lead on implementation and help those whose jobs include making our students and state the best we can be. If you want Alabama to be known for these positive national distinctions, contact Life Leaders. If you want students to write Plans for School and Life, contact Life Leaders.

More movements are starting and improving. If we envision, take action, and persevere like those before us, supported by patriots who provide volunteerism or funding, the level of servant leadership and the brand of Alabama will improve as a place to host events, do business, and live. Let’s do it because it’s the right thing to do. Let’s make it a priority now because of the opportunities possible before and during Alabama hosting the World Games in 2021.

Life Leaders Plan & Life Leaders Progress

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