By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Today, Friday November 11, 2016, is Veterans Day.
US Senator Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) said in a statement, “Each year, friends and neighbors across the country pause to honor our nation’s military heroes who selflessly sacrificed for the freedoms we enjoy as Americans. Veterans Day is an important time to remember that freedom does not come free, and that we owe a great debt of gratitude to the men and women of our Armed Forces for their extraordinary service.”
US Representative Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) said on social media, “It was an honor to speak at the National Veterans Award Dinner in Birmingham tonight. Thank you to all veterans who have served and are currently serving at home and around the world.”
US Representative Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) said, “Mr. Duel Calvert had to leave high school during his junior year to go and serve our country in World War 2. Today, he finally received his diploma from Cold Springs High School. Congratulations and thank you for your service to our country.”
US Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose) said, “Did you know that November is National Military Family Month? When we think about our service members, sometimes we forget the immense sacrifice our military families make each and every day. Whether it is moving around the country or spending the holidays without your loved one, military families face many difficult challenges and unique obstacles. Despite the circumstances, these military families provide much needed love and support to those who serve our country. So, to all our military families out there – thank you for your sacrifice!”
The Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources N. Gunter Guy said in a statement, “On behalf of all of us at the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, in observance of this Veterans Day, Friday, November 11, 2016, I would like to extend our deepest thanks to our military men and women and their families for their sacrifice and their service to this nation. The United States of America owes its many freedoms and privileges to our brave military men and women, those currently serving and all those who have served throughout our country’s history. May God bless and protect each of you as you do so much to protect all Americans. Again, thank you!”
State Representative Mack Butler (R-Rainbow City) said on social media, “Thank You Vets for your service. My God Bless You and God Bless America.”
State Representative Phil Williams (R-Huntsville) said on social media, “I am very happy to live in a town that truly supports Veterans and recognizes their sacrifices. Very thankful that my Dad was a vet and that he had the presence of mind to survive. I have recordings of us talking about Anzio and his trips to Vietnam that are very special to me. I tell his grandson stories that he told me.”
95 years ago, the Armistice was signed ending the “War to End All Wars”…..It did not end war, but for decades today would be remembered as Armistice day. All the veterans of World War I are dead now, but their memory and their example remains. Their children fought in World War II and Korea, their grandchildren fought in Vietnam, their great grandchildren fought in Panama, Somalia, Desert Storm, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. They have great great grandchildren on duty today fighting the war on terror in Afghanistan and in posts around the world. Eventually the day that the Armistice was signed ending “The Great War” would become the day that Americans honors her veterans. Birmingham was where Armistice first became Veterans Day and it is home of the oldest Veterans Day Parade in the country.
Following World War II, Birmingham WWII veteran Raymond Meeks led a delegation to the Pentagon where they asked Army Chief of Staff Dwight D Eisenhower (R) to create a day honoring all of the nation’s veterans. In 1954, as President Eisenhower he signed legislation formally establishing November 11th as Veterans Day. Meeks led the first Veterans Day Parade in Birmingham in 1947 and led the parade every year until his death in 1985. Meeks was honored in 1982 by President Ronald Reagan (R).
The Veterans Day Parade in Birmingham begins at 1:30 pm and starts on 18th Street and 9th Avenue North. It then turns South on 18th Street to Second Avenue North. It goes East on Second Avenue North to 22nd Street. The Parade then goes North on 22nd Street to 5th Avenue North and then proceeds West on 5th Avenue North to 19th Street. The Parade then goes North on 19th Street in front of Birmingham City Hall until ending at 19th Street and 10th Avenue North.