A sampling of statewide events scheduled to honor our veterans during the month of November.
Published: October 31, 2018
By: Lori Chandler Pruitt
Birmingham is the home of America’s first Veterans Day parade, and the tradition is still going strong. Veterans Day is held to honor all military veterans, both living and deceased, and their families.
National Veterans Day Birmingham established the nation’s first Veterans Day parade in the city in 1947. Raymond Weeks, a Birmingham resident and World War II veteran, wanted a national holiday set aside to honor all veterans. At that time, Armistice Day honored World War I veterans. President Dwight D. Eisenhower officially changed the designation of Armistice Day to make Veterans Day, November 11, a federal holiday.
Take note: This year’s Veterans Day Parade in Birmingham will be held at 1:30pm on Monday, November 12, with a new route this year to accommodate road construction. The parade is a major part of several other events to be held in the city on Sunday, November 11 and Monday, November 12 to honor veterans.
The November 12 parade begins at 1:30pm at Rainbow Bridge at Second Avenue S, and proceeds south to 3rd Avenue, turning west to 14th Street. It then turns north to 2nd Avenue, where it turns east and end at 20th Street.
Veterans Day is the focal point of many events around our state. Below is just a sampling of events announced statewide by press time that are scheduled to honor our veterans during the month of November.
In addition, some local attractions offer free or discounted admission to veterans, active military and immediate family members. As always, check with the chosen venue or event for updates, as details may change.
Sunday, November 4
- 1pm, Veterans Day Tribute, Alabama Veterans Memorial Park, 100 Overton Access Road, Birmingham. More information, alabamaveterans.org.
Sunday, November 11
- 2 p.m., The Poppy Service…a Veterans Day Service of Thanksgiving and Remembrance, The American Village, Montevallo. Service in the Colonial Chapel at 2 p.m., followed by a wreath laying at the National Veterans Shrine. The American Village will lay a poppy wreath in honor of all veterans, and the public is invited to place a poppy in remembrance of a loved one. Gates open at 1 p.m. Free event.
- Veterans Day Parade and Ceremony, 11 a.m., Tuscumbia. Ceremony at the Colbert County Courthouse following.
- Veterans Appreciation Week, Montgomery Zoo. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, November 11-17. All veterans, active duty military and their immediate family members receive a 50 percent discount on regular daytime admission to the zoo and Mann Wildlife Learning Museum. www.montgomeryzoo.com.
Monday, November 12
- 1:30 p.m., National Veterans Day Parade, Birmingham. Part of several events in the city. The National Veterans Day organization plans the National Veterans Awards dinner and luncheon as well as the parade. See Nationalveteransday.org or on Facebook.
- Free Fee Day, Bankhead National Forest, Double Springs and Shoal Creek District; Tuskegee National Forest, Tuskegee. Alabama’s national forests offer a “free fee” day for all activities, including camping, fishing, trail riding, shooting or horseback riding. All veterans, members of the U.S. armed forces and their family members are encouraged to come. www.fs.usda.gov.
- Veterans Day Celebration and Parade of Flags, Mobile. 3 p.m.-4:30 p.m., USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park. A parade of flags by area fourth grade students from Mobile and Baldwin counties. Patriotic music, special presentations and more. ussalabama.com.
- Veterans Day Concert, Mobile. 7-9 p.m., USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park. A patriotic concert by the Mobile Pops. ussalabama.com.