Chris Parker’s great-grandfather founded Veterans Day—he proudly carries on the tradition [VIDEO]

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Chris Parker of Regions Bank. (Sabrina Palmer / Bham Now)

Veterans Day is an opportunity to pay tribute to those who served. But for Regions Bank’s Chris Parker, it means even more. We talked with Parker, a Consumer Lending Analyst at Regions Bank, about the legacy his great-grandfather left by organizing National Veterans Day and how he carries on the family tradition today.

Raymond Weeks was a national hero

Raymond Weeks, Chris Parker’s great-grandfather, prompted the change to turn Veterans Day into a national holiday that would commemorate all veterans.

Weeks, a Birmingham native, served in the US Navy during World War II. When he returned, he realized there wasn’t a holiday to honor the veterans who fought in the war. There was Armistice Day to celebrate the end of World War I and Memorial Day honor those that fought and lost their lives serving.

He led a delegation to Washington D.C. in 1947 to establish the holiday that would pay tribute to all veterans. The legislation was signed in 1954 by President Dwight Eisenhower creating the Veterans Day holiday.

Carrying on the tradition

Regions 101 Chris Parker's great-grandfather founded Veterans Day—he proudly carries on the tradition [VIDEO]
The Raymond Weeks memorial is just down the street from Regions. (Sabrina Palmer / Bham Now)

Three generations later, Parker and his family continue the tradition at Birmingham’s Veterans Day activities—they actually lead the parade every year.

“Every year, we still celebrate the parade by marching in it and bringing awareness that Birmingham was the founding city of the parade. It’s really something that we’re proud of and that the whole city can be proud of too.”

Chris Parker, Consumer Lending Analyst, Regions Bank

Parker is proud to carry on the legacy with his family.

“My great-grandfather died before I was born, so unfortunately I never knew him. I’m so proud that my parents, brother, cousins, aunts and uncles still get together each year on November 11 to honor him and all the veterans who have served our country.”

Chris Parker, Consumer Lending Analyst, Regions Bank

For Regions, supporting veterans is a priority all year long

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The oldest Veterans Day in the country. (National Veterans Day Birmingham / Facebook)

This year will be the 75th National Veterans Day Parade. Regions Bank has been a corporate sponsor of the Birmingham parade for more than a decade and Regions celebrates Veterans Day with many bank-wide programs and recognitions.

According to Steve Beres, Service Members and Veterans Affairs Manager for Regions, the support for military members, veterans and their families is something that Regions keeps top of mind all year.

“Through community involvementmilitary-friendly products and services and efforts to employ and develop veterans, military members and their spouses, we are committed to making life better for those who serve and their families.”

Steve Beres, Service Members and Veterans Affairs Manager, Regions Bank

Through serving veterans and beyond, Regions Bank is a huge part of the Birmingham community—check out more incredible stories like this one.

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