7th District Congresswoman Terri Sewell and 6th District Congressman Spencer Bachus have introduced a House resolution recognizing the significance of Birmingham's Veterans Day commemorations. The resolution cites Birmingham as "home to the first and longest-running national celebration of Veterans Day." The tribute to veterans is now in its 66th year featuring many events, including a parade through downtown Birmingham and the presentation of the National Veteran Award, which this year is being bestowed to the famed Tuskegee Airmen.
Congresswoman Sewell said, "Birmingham's steadfast recognition and celebration of our nation's veterans serves as a compelling reminder of the role we all have in honoring those who defend and protect our democracy." Congressman Bachus said, "Birmingham has a long and proud history of honoring our esteemed veterans and truly is a role model for communities throughout our nation."
The resolution cites the pivotal role that World War II veteran Raymond Weeks of Birmingham played in organizing the local celebration and advocating the creation of a National Veterans Day to President Dwight Eisenhower. President Ronald Reagan recognized Raymond Weeks as the "driving force" behind Veterans Day while presenting him with a Presidential Citation Medal at the White House in 1982.