The “driving force” for Veterans Day. — President Ronald Reagan, 1982
- VETERANS DAY: Civitan Raymond Weeks’ lifelong mission of service (PDF of article from Civitan International magazine)
- More on Life Leaders’ Veterans Day Founding History page!
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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