Birmingham’s National Veterans Day Parade 2019, the nation’s oldest celebration honoring our heroes (Photos)

National Veterans Day Parade 2019 in Birmingham, Alabama. Photo by Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now

Birmingham proudly held the 72nd Annual National Veterans Day Parade on Monday, November 11th, for second consecutive year alongside Railroad Park.

World War I recognized at the National Veterans Day Parade 2019 in Birmingham, Alabama. Photo by Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now
Veteran participating in the National Veterans Day Parade 2019 in Birmingham, Alabama. Photo by Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now

The nation’s oldest and longest Veterans Day Parade, the national holiday was envisioned by Birmingham resident Raymond Weeks as an extension of “Armistice Day” and first celebrated in the Magic City in 1947.

Veterns Day Parade
Birmingham had FIRST National Veterans Day parade in 1947. Via

Here is an excerpt from an entry in Bhamwiki describing how Veterans Day was founded.

“Raymond Weeks, a World War II veteran and Birmingham citizen, led efforts to expand Armistice Day to salute the veterans of that war. He led a delegation that presented the idea to General Eisenhower, the Army Chief of Staff. With his blessing, plans were made for the first Veterans Day celebration, held on November 11, 1947 in Birmingham.

National Veterans Day Parade 2019 in Birmingham, Alabama. Photo by Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now

A parade was held downtown, beginning a tradition which continues with what remains the nation’s largest Veterans Day Parade. The non-profit National Veterans Day in Birmingham was created to coordinate events in the city.

National Veterans Day Parade 2019 in Birmingham, Alabama. Photo by Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now

After years of lobbying, a bill to formally change the name of the federal holiday was introduced by Representative Edwin Rees of Kansas. It was signed by President Eisenhower on June 1, 1954.”

Raymond Weeks Memorial Service at Linn Park. Weeks, a Birmingham resident, led the national efforts to establish the Veterans Day. Photo by Terry Schrimscher

Last year, Bham Now was on hand for the Raymond Weeks Memorial Service at Linn Park.  The video of the service provides the history behind the creation of Veterans Day in Birmingham.

Perfect Parade Weather for 2019

National Veterans Day Parade 2019 in Birmingham, Alabama. Photo by Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now

Unlike the National Veterans Day Parade in 2018, which was almost rained out, the weather for the 2019 Parade was perfect with sunny skies and temperatures in the mid 60s. Because of the  I-59/20 construction, the parade route was also held for the 2nd consecutive year around the Railroad Park/Regions Field/Midtown area.

National Veterans Day Parade 2019 in Birmingham, Alabama. Photo by Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now

72nd Annual National Veterans Day Parade 2019 Photo Gallery

Courtesy of Kristina O’Quinn, below are additional photos from the 2019 parade.

National Veterans Day Parade 2019 in Birmingham, Alabama. Photo by Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now
National Veterans Day Parade 2019 in Birmingham, Alabama. Photo by Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now
National Veterans Day Parade 2019 in Birmingham, Alabama. Photo by Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now
National Veterans Day Parade 2019 in Birmingham, Alabama. Photo by Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now
National Veterans Day Parade 2019 in Birmingham, Alabama. Photo by Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now
Marion Military Institute students participating at the National Veterans Day Parade 2019 in Birmingham, Alabama. Photo by Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now
National Veterans Day Parade 2019 in Birmingham, Alabama. Photo by Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now
National Veterans Day Parade 2019 in Birmingham, Alabama. Photo by Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now
National Veterans Day Parade 2019 in Birmingham, Alabama. Photo by Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now

Did you go to the 72nd Annual National Veterans Day Parade in Birmingham? Shared your photos by tagging us on social media.

  • Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.