Alabama Veterans Memorial Park
The Alabama Veterans Memorial Park is a privately-owned memorial park built and operated by the Alabama Veterans Memorial Foundation on a wooded 22-acre site at 100 Overton Access Road, adjoining I-459 at the Liberty Park exit in Birmingham's Overton neighborhood.
The $6.5 million memorial honors over 400,000 Alabamians who served in the U. S. military during the wars of the 20th century (World War I, World War II, Korean War, Viet Nam War and Gulf War). The site's landscaped path leads to a plaza with the flags of the services and a grouping of 36 20-foot-tall concrete columns with embedded plaques of letters and Medal of Honor commendations. A massive concrete "sanctuary" serves as a backdrop and destination. Quotations from statesmen and the names of 11,000 killed in action are etched into the interior walls of the tall rectangular enclosure. A curved concrete canopy is suspended away from the walls, allowing light to wash across the etched names. At the back wall, facing an opening from which the United States flag can be viewed, stands a stainless steel sculpture, entitled "The Last Watch".
The memorial was designed as a pro bono project by GA Architecture Studio and won an Honor Citation from the AIA Gulf States Region and an Honorable Mention from AIA Alabama and AIA Birmingham. It was dedicated on May 27, 2001. Future plans include a timeline of military events along the path and a permanent education center.
In 2009, with donations slipping due to the Great Recession, the foundation sold a 5-acre parcel of the park and sent a special appeal to donors.
In October 2013, the Birmingham Police Vice Unit conducted a sting in the park and arrested several individuals on misdemeanor charges ranging from indecent proposal to physical harassment.
- "Where Every Day is Memorial Day: Alabama's Veterans Memorial" (Fall 2001) Partners. Economic Development Partnership of Alabama
- Faulk, Kent (November 8, 2009) "Alabama veterans park may have to close if more donations don't come through." The Birmingham News
- Reed, Jon (October 4, 2013) "Birmingham police make arrests for obscene activity at Veterans Memorial Park on Old Overton Road." The Birmingham News
- Alabama Veterans Memorial website
- Alabama Veterans Memorial at gastudio.com