Alabama Veterans Memorial Park

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The Alabama Veterans Memorial on Memorial Day, 2010

The Alabama Veterans Memorial Park is a privately-owned memorial park at 100 Overton Access Road built and operated by the Alabama Veterans Memorial Foundation on a wooded 22-acre site adjoining I-459 at the Liberty Park exit.

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 economic 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.

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