Veterans Day events - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Veterans Day events

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People across the country spent time remembering those who have fought and died for our freedom. A number of events celebrated veterans in our area through song, prayer and by sharing experiences.

Bob Barefield, Chairman of Patriotism in Action, says " Every year, We lay three wreathes at Weeks Memorial." Acknowledging the World War II Veteran who didn't want any soldier to be forgotten."Raymond Weeks founded Veteran's Day here in Birmingham in 1947."

Barbara Weeks Miner says "After the war and everybody came back, there was no enthusiasm for the veterans, nothing. It was just the end and he went to Washington, went to see Eisenhower." Leading to the conversion of armistice day to Veterans Day. We've had so many people carry this on, it's 65 years."

65 years of honoring veterans, like Gary Gilbert, who is able to talk about being a prisoner of war in Vietnam. "You try to survive day to day with the torture they put you through. For 29 months he lived confined to a small space in a cave. 24 other captives didn't make it out alive. "I spent that time building a house in my mind, room by room, floor by floor."

His family presented  him with a StepStone at the Alabama Veterans Memorial where 34 other veterans were honored with one too. Iraq Veteran Douglas Coomer says  "Words can't explain the honor I have to be around real heroes." And the names of thousands of Alabamians killed in conflict will remain here for generations to always remember their sacrifice.

Even though Sunday is officially Veterans Day, the day will also be recognized Monday. There will be a parade in downtown Birmingham at 1:30. It will begin on 8th Avenue North and 19th Street. There will also be other ceremonies throughout the day.

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