Our state played huge role in creation of Veterans Day

Published 11:52 am Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Dear Editor,

With Veterans Day approaching, I thought your readers may be interested in some facts I came across the other day while doing some research on the state of Alabama. Did you know that the first Veterans Day Celebration was held in Birmingham, Alabama?

At the end of World War I, “Armistice Day” was a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I.

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“Armistice Day” was celebrated until World War II came about. In 1945, a World War II veteran by the name of Raymond White, from Birmingham, Alabama, came up with an idea to expand “Armistice Day” to honor all veterans, not just the ones from World War I.

Mr. White urged then Army Chief of Staff General Dwight Eisenhower to create a national holiday that honors all veterans. In 1954, President Eisenhower signed legislation establishing Nov. 11 as Veterans Day.

Even though legislation was not signed until 1954, On Nov. 11, 1947 Raymond White lead the first National Veterans Day Parade in Birmingham. He continued to lead the parade until he passed away in 1985.
Mr. White received the Presidential Citizenship Medal for his involvement in declaring Nov. 11 as Veterans Day. He was awarded the medal in 1982 by President Ronald Reagan.

What an honor for Alabama to be the home of the very first Veterans Day Celebration.

Take time to show your support to veterans, not only on Veterans Day, but every day.

Jenny Hutto
Jr. Vice President,
Ladies Auxiliary
Atmore Memorial VFW Post 7016