Tribute to the Founder of Veterans Day

Commemorate Patriotism in Action and kick off National Veterans Day in Birmingham, Raymond Weeks Memorial Monument, 4:30-5

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

Video: National Veterans Day Founded in Alabama
(NEW RELEASE November 2018!)

Pres. Reagan Honors National Veterans Day Founder Raymond Weeks
of Alabama on national television 1982.

Life Leaders created this short video for your use in classrooms, veterans events, and civic organizations, and to accompany the handouts and other resource materials found on our Veterans Day Founding Education page. Video contents and approximate times (Total time: 4 minutes 31 seconds): 

  • Eisenhower-Weeks photo (1946) endorsing “National Veterans Day 1947” (0:12)
  • Video clip of Reagan honoring Weeks, the “driving force” for America’s Veterans Day (2:00)–full speech here.
  • Weeks interview on White House lawn by NBC about how he and Eisenhower launched the national holiday (1:20)
  • Jeopardy TV clip: “Father of Veterans Day” (0:20)
  • Closing and call to action–US Senate Resolution restoring historical credit to Birmingham, Alabama, Weeks; Tribute to the Founder at the Weeks Memorial photo; Join the Movement; web site address to get more information (0:30)

Bham Now Recording of
2018 Tribute to the Founder of Veterans Day

Raymond Weeks Memorial Service Commemorating the 71st Anniversary of America’s First Veterans Day at Linn Park in Downtown Birmingham. Source: Bham Now.

Bham Now‘s video recording of the 2018 Tribute to the Founder of Veterans Day ceremony on Nov. 11 had been viewed almost 1,500 times within 3 days of posting!

WVTM-13: Veterans Day ceremonies held in Birmingham area Sunday

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. —Ceremonies were held Sunday to honor the men and women in military service. Photo by WVTM-13.

A Veterans Day ceremony was held in Linn Park in Birmingham to honor Raymond Weeks.

Mr. Weeks, a World War II veteran, first organized a “National Veterans Day” event in Birmingham in 1947, to honor all veterans on November 11.

Read more on the WVTM-13 web site.

Veterans Day 2018: History of honoring
America’s veterans in Birmingham

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. —WVTM 13’s Jeff Eliasoph tells you about the history of honoring military veterans in Birmingham.

Watch video on the WVTM-13 web site.

Photo courtesy of Civitan International.


WVTM-13 Tribute to Raymond Weeks, founder of National Veterans Day

Sunday, November 11, 2018, 4:30-5 p.m.
(Nov 10 except when the holiday is observed on a day other than Nov. 11)
Raymond Weeks Memorial
Linn Park, Birmingham
Patriotic music, color guard from The American Village, riderless horse, lay wreaths at the monument by Patriotism in Action, National Veterans Day, Blue Star Salute Foundation, summary of 7 highlights founding National Veterans Day and introduction of the family of the founder Raymond Weeks

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

Emcee: Dr. David Dyson, founder, Patriotism in Action
co-author of book telling how Veterans Day started, Patriotism in Action

2018 National Veterans Day Birmingham Schedule of Events (PDF)

Partner Program Links

Profile of the “Driving Force” (cited by President Reagan) for America’s Veterans Day

Raymond Weeks, WWII Veteran from Birmingham
(lived in Phenix City, AL as an infant)

  • Petitioned General Eisenhower in 1946 at the Pentagon to establish “National Veterans Day 1947” and host 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 the 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 since 1954
  • 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 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 Birmingham City Hall
  • Confirmed by the Mayor of Birmingham, Governor of Alabama, and the United States Senate for his leadership establishing the holiday commemorating veterans and world peace


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