Honoring our veterans is important to the city of Birmingham. Greater Birmingham has several memorials and events in celebration of this remarkable day including the annual Veterans Day parade. Pay your respects by honoring Veterans Day in these ways.
The History of Veterans Day
The Magic City is known for our large Veterans Day parade and festivities. Did you know that Birminghamians were the first to celebrate the holiday? Yes, the first celebration was in 1947.
In World War I, Germany and the Allied nations declared a truce on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. The next year, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration to honor the soldiers who fought in that war. Then, it became a federal holiday in 1938.
Here are ways you can celebrate.
Four events you can attend
1. Birmingham Veterans Day Parade, Nov. 11, 1:30-4:30PM
What better way to celebrate a holiday than a parade?
Come out to Birmingham’s 74th annual parade—the largest Veterans Day parade in the nation. In addition, it is also the longest-running parade. The parade will run from 1:30PM to 4:30PM on the north side of downtown. Here’s this year’s route:
- Start on 18th St. and 9th 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 10th Ave N.
Can’t make it? Join the city on livestream.
2. Flag Placement Ceremony at Alabama National Cemetery, Nov. 9, 10AM
Every year the Alabama National Cemetery host a flag placement ceremony for families who’ve lost loved ones in war. This year’s flag placement will take place on Tuesday, November 9 at 10AM. The ceremony’s schedule includes:
- Wreath laying
- Moment of silence
Location: 3133 Highway 119, Montevallo, AL 35115
3. Veterans Day at the Zoo, Nov. 11
All veterans, active and retired military, along with their dependents, get FREE admission to the Birmingham Zoo this Thursday. Not only can you get in for free but you can also take a free ride on the Red Diamond Express train.
To take part in all the fun, guests must provide proof of military service including:
- Military ID
- Dependent ID
- Driver license w/ veteran’s designation
Discounted admission tickets will only be sold onsite at the Zoo’s front entrance ticket booths and cannot be combined with any other offer, discount or coupon.
4. National Veterans Award Dinner, Nov. 10
This dinner and reception honors an outstanding veteran in the United States each year who has made the greatest contribution to further the patriotic interests of veterans and veteran organizations throughout the country. This year, they are honoring those service members who have participated in the Covid 19 response.
- Where: Sheraton Birmingham (Ballroom) | 2101 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. N., Birmingham, AL 35203
- When: Wednesday, November 10
- Time: Reception – 5PM; Dinner – 6PM
- Price: $45
Seven Veterans Memorials in Birmingham
The Greater Birmingham area has several memorials to honor our local heroes. Here are seven that you can visit for the holiday:
1. Alabama Veterans Memorial Park
Location: 3792 Rockhill Road, Birmingham, AL 35223
2. Kelly Ingram Park
Location: 500 17th Street North, Birmingham, AL 35203
3. Leeds Memorial
Location: 1159 Montevallo Road Southwest, Leeds, AL 35094
4. Trussville Memorial
Location: 109 Parkway Drive Trussville, AL 35173
5. North Jefferson Memorial
Location: 1425 Stouts Road Fultondale, AL 35068
6. Gardendale Memorial
Location: 1304 Main Street, Gardendale, AL 35071
7. Tarrant Memorial
Location: 1636 Pinson Street, Birmingham, AL 35217
American Village in Montevallo will be honoring veterans on Veterans Day with FREE admission from 10AM-4PM. There will be a program in the Colonial Chapel at 11AM and the American Village Citizenship Trust Founder and President, Tom Walker, will lead the program. In addition to the program, visitors have the opportunity to:
- Stroll the 188-acre campus
- Meet patriots of the past
- View the National Veterans shrine
- Experience the Register of Honor
- See the new West Wing of Independence Hall
Also, Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille is offering one complimentary pork chop dinner to U.S. veterans and active military on Thursday, November 11 from 4-10PM.
How do you plan to celebrate Veterans Day? Tag us @BhamNow on socials and let us know.