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In honor of our fellow citizens who gave the ultimate sacrifice to our country, this Memorial Day weekend, I visited 9 veteran memorials in and around Birmingham that remember the fallen in war and peace time.
Lest We Forget
At Avondale Park, between the two baseball fields is a World War II monument that begins with the words, “Lest we forget.”
That is the plea made at each and every memorial in Leeds, Gardendale, Fultondale, Tarrant, Fultondale, Trussville and Birmingham.
A message, perhaps best spoken by President Abraham Lincoln in the Gettysburg Address:
“But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow – this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
This Memorial Day 2021 let us give thanks, remember their memory and never forget.
Alabama Veterans Memorial
Nestled a half a mile off exit 23 on I-459 near Liberty Park, the Alabama Veterans Memorial Park is a quiet beautiful memorial. The 23 foot by 46 foot Hall of Honor displays the names of Alabama’s veterans, from all branches of service, who died during active duty in 20th and 21st Century wars. The wars include World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, Iraq and Afghanistan. Names of over 11,000 Alabamians lost to war are engraved.
Birmingham’s Rainbow Viaduct
The Rainbow viaduct on Richard Arrington, Jr. Blvd. was the first overpass that connects Southside Birmingham to downtown. It was named in 1919 as a tribute to Alabama’s famous 167th Infantry of the Rainbow Division. Nearly a decade ago, the monument was restored thanks to civic leaders and I Believe in Birmingham. Here is the story in Bhamwiki.
Kelly Ingram Park
Two monuments reside at the park. The first honoring Osmond Kelly Ingram, Birmingham resident who was the first sailor killed in World War I and Julius Elsberry who was the first soldier killed during the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Leeds Veterans Memorial
Located at 1159 Montevallo Rd within Leeds Memorial Park, the Veterans Memorial honors the “The Unknown Soldier – local POWs and soldiers missing in action.
Trussville Veterans Memorial
A beautiful obelisk and memorial surrounded by military service flags and the U.S. flag. The Trussville Veterans Memorial is located at Civitan Park in Trussville near the Cahaba River. It was dedicated in 2015.
North Jefferson Veterans Memorial
Dedicated in 1995, the North Jefferson Veterans Memorial is located off Hwy 31 in Fultondale. Accoding to Waymarking.com the memorial was placed at the site by American Legion Post 255.
Tarrant Veterans Memorial
Located adjacent to Tarrant City Hall, the memorial can be found off Pinson Parkway at 1636 Pinson St, Tarrant, AL 35217.
Gardendale Veterans Memorial
Located at 1304 Main St, Gardendale, AL 35071 – this memorial features a cannon and a ship’s anchor, various plaques and monuments, and a small parking area. An American flag on a 20-foot pole is the centerpiece of the park. A large granite marker designed by stands eight feet tall in the park and depicts war scenes and the six seals of the nation’s armed forces. Five granite benches representing each major war involving American troops surround the granite marker.