This Veterans Day, November 11, we here at Southern Living are tipping our hats to the men and women who have served for our country with a tradition that was born right here in our hometown of Birmingham.
In the 1940s, Magic City native Raymond Weeks campaigned for a day of remembrance for all vets. (Up until World War II, the country marked Armistice Day, which was just for WWI vets.) Raymond created the first-ever Veterans Day Parade, which he led in Birmingham from 1947 until his passing in 1985.
Still going strong, there is no lack of pomp in this year’s parade on Monday, starting in downtown Birmingham at 8th Ave. N and 19th St at 1:30 p.m. Parade logistics and fun historic facts can be found here.
Other Veterans Day events around the South include:
- Nashville’s Shelby Park is the site of this year’s National Veterans Day Run, featuring an 11k run, a 5k run, and a one-mile family walk.
- The National World War II Museum in New Orleans is offering free admission to all veterans and their families, and is pairing with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra for a special Veterans Day performance at the U.S. Freedom Pavilion. Beloved local celebrity, John Goodman, will narrate the event.
- In our nation’s capital, expect ceremonies and events at nearly every monument and memorial. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier hosts a special wreath-laying service, as does the WWII Memorial, the Navy Memorial, and the Air Force Memorial.
- All Tennessee state parks are offering a free night of camping and a round of golf to all Tennessee veterans.
For list events around the country, check out this map from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. And thank you to all who have served.