The Alabama Veterans Memorial Foundation, a 501 (C)(3) educational non-profit foundation, envisioned a memorial which would be a place of reflection, a place to educate, and a place to honor Alabama veterans who served during the 20th and 21st century wars. This vision was realized in 2001 with the dedication of the twenty-two-acre Alabama Veterans Memorial Park. The Park has remained for twenty years as a place where visitors can come to pay tribute to the brave men and women who served and who have died in defense of our freedom.
The Alabama Veterans Memorial Park also honors veterans by educating both adults and children on the enormous price paid by these brave men and women and their families for our citizens’ freedom and peace. There are three main areas in the Park for educational opportunities.
Near the end of the 1000 foot beautiful-wooded Memorial Trail is the American Flag Plaza. In the middle of the Plaza stands a 120 foot-tall flag pole with the American flag flying from the top that can be seen from cars traveling on I-459 as they pass the Liberty Parkway exit. Encircling the flag pole are very special 4 inch by 8-inch brick pavers called StepStones. These StepStones have been engraved with a veteran’s name, rank, and branch of service. This Plaza was created to honor all veterans because the Alabama Veterans Memorial Foundation believes that every veteran deserves a tangible way of being publicly recognized for his or her service. Whereas the next area in the Park, the Memorial Plaza, was created to honor Alabamians only, the American Flag Plaza is dedicated to all veterans who have served or all men and women who are currently serving, giving them a special place of remembrance. The honored veteran can be from any service time, any state and any branch; also, they may be deceased or living or currently serving. In addition to honoring a veteran, a military unit or a military-affiliated organization may be honored with a StepStone. Anyone can honor a veteran by purchasing a StepStone for a $100 donation. They are sold all during the year and are dedicated in two ceremonies each year – near Veterans Day and near Memorial Day.
At the end of the Trail is the Memorial Plaza where thirty-six columns reach upward twenty-four feet. Displayed on the columns are plaques that provide information about Alabama Medal of Honor recipients, Alabama artwork, and various documents about Alabama veterans. The text of the Medal of Honor citations as well as the documents are also printed on the Park’s website, alabamaveterans.org.
Adjacent to the Memorial Plaza is the Hall of Honor. Written on the walls are over 11,000 names of Alabama veterans who were killed in action during the 20th and 21st century wars. The alphabetized names of the service men and women are listed by the war and then the Alabama county in which they enlisted. Included above each war name is a famous quote by the United States President at the time of the war.
To further the mission of education, the Alabama Veterans Memorial Foundation has worked with instructors from Samford University, Birmingham Southern and teachers from area schools to create Lesson Plans as an online presence for teachers to use in the classroom and for home-schooled students. These Lesson Plans, designed for fourth through eighth grade students, contain activities for students to learn about World War I, World War ll, Korean War, Vietnam War, Gulf War, and War on Terror. Each includes information about Alabama’s involvement in these wars. These eight lesson plans are listed below.
This lesson plan contains activities for upper Elementary School students to discuss and discover more about veterans. It includes information about Alabama’s Role in World War One, Alabama’s 167th Infantry Regiment, and the Alabama Veterans Memorial Park in Birmingham as well as activities to learn more about the Star Spangled Banner and the Pledge of Allegiance.
This lesson plan contains activities for upper Elementary School students to discover more about World War Two, the branches and flags of the military, and three Alabama veterans. It also includes information about the United States after World War One, the factors leading to World War Two, Alabama during the World War Two and the famous Tuskegee Airmen.
This lesson plan contains activities for upper elementary school students to discuss and discover more about the role of women in World War Two.
This lesson plans contains activities for students in upper elementary schools to discuss poems about veterans, to research Alabama Medal of Honor recipients, and to write a biographical poem about a recipient.
This lesson plan contains activities for upper Elementary School students to discover more about Korea and the Korean War by researching, analyzing pictures and writing.
Lesson Plan Six: the Vietnam War
This lesson plan contains an activity for upper elementary grades 4-6 to learn about the impact of the Vietnam War on Americans. Students will analyze opinions facing the Vietnam War as well as memorials honoring veterans who served during this time in history.
This lesson plan is designed for middle school students or older studying the Vietnam War. This lesson contains an interactive slideshow with fill-in-the-blank guided notes to ensure active participation by all students. In addition, a gallery walk activity containing twelve diverse images from the Vietnam War (provided by the National Archives) has been included to allow students to apply what they have learned via an image analysis activity. QR codes have also been provided for each image in case teachers would prefer students to use technology to view the images.
Lesson Plan Seven: The Persian Gulf War
This lesson plan contains activities for upper elementary grades 4-6 to become acquainted with the key events leading up to the Persian Gulf War, to learn pertinent vocabulary, and to identify countries of the Middle East on a map.
This lesson plan uses illustrations for upper elementary school students to identify key events and elements in Desert Shield, Desert Storm, and Red Stone Arsenal. It also contains activities to process this lesson as well as learn about an Alabama soldier.
Lesson Plan Eight: War on Terror
This lesson plan contains activities for grades 4-8 to become acquainted with the key terms found in readings to define terrorism and will learn to use the definition of terrorism to evaluate the rationale for the 9/11 targets.
This lesson plan contains activities for fourth – eighth grade students to learn about Alabamians who lost their lives in the September 11, 2001 attacks. Students will create a poster and give a presentation commemorating the life of their assigned Alabamian.
This lesson plan contains activities for fourth-eighth grade students to identify text information, use inferencing skills, and use supporting text evidence to answer questions about President George W. Bush’s “War on Terror” speech to Congress and the Nation on September 20, 2001.
This Lesson Plan contains activities for students grades 4-8 to learn about the role of first responders after the 9/11/2001 attacks as well as how Saint Paul’s Chapel became a source of comfort for first responders.
This lesson plan contains activities for fourth-eighth grade students to learn about the US involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq; they will also learn about the Alabamians who lost their lives during this twenty-year period.
New Lesson Plans will be added in the near future. Please check back periodically to see what's been added.