On this Veterans Day, I could tell you that a Birmingham native by the name of Raymond Weeks initiated this national day of remembrance. On this Veterans Day, I could describe how in 1945 Mr. Weeks had the idea to expand Armistice day to honor all veterans, not just the veterans of World War I.
On this Veterans Day, I could evoke a sense of patriotic pride in you, my fellow Alabamians, by describing how in 1946 Mr. Weeks had an audience with General Eisenhower himself to pitch the idea, and that in 1947 Mr. Weeks lead the first national celebration of Veterans Day right here in Alabama. On this Veterans Day, I could remind you that on May 26, 1954 President Eisenhower signed a law officially recognizing Veterans Day as a federal holiday.
On this Veterans Day, I could boast about the fact that in 1983 President Ronald Reagan presented Mr. Weeks with the President’s Citizen Medal. And on this Veterans Day, it might seem like I am going on a bit too much by saying that Birmingham hosted the first Veterans Day parade and is home to the National Veterans Award — illustrating yet another great contribution made by Alabama and its people.
But I won’t. Not on this Veterans Day. Because this Veterans Day is about remembering the fallen heroes, the wounded heroes, the heroes that fought for our county and all their families that sacrificed at home.
So regardless of the war, time of service, branch of service or the required duties, we at the yhtc give thanks to our troops and the families that support them. That is what Raymond Weeks would want us to do on this Veterans Day.