By Scott Buttram
BIRMINGHAM — The city of Birmingham is home to America’s oldest, and once the largest, Veterans Day parade. Tuesday at 1:30 p.m., the parade route will begin at 8th Avenue North and 18th Street.
According to nationalveteransday.org, Raymond Weeks of Birmingham led a delegation to Washington, D.C. urging then-Army Chief of Staff General Dwight Eisenhower to create a national holiday that honored all veterans. In 1954, now-President Eisenhower signed legislation formally establishing Nov. 11 as Veterans Day.
In 1982, President Ronald Reagan honored Weeks at the White House with the Presidential Citizenship Medal as the driving force for the national holiday. Weeks led the first National Veterans Day Parade in 1947 in Alabama, and continued the tradition annually until his passing in 1985.
Here’s the full parade route:
- START ON 18TH ST. AND 8TH AVE N.
- SOUTH ON 18TH ST. TO 2ND AVE N.
- EAST ON 2ND AVE N. TO 22ND ST.
- NORTH ON 22ND ST. TO 5TH AVE N.
- WEST ON 5TH AVE N. TO 19TH ST.
- NORTH ON 19TH ST. IN FRONT OF CITY HALL
- END AT 19TH ST. AND 8TH AVE N.