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Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts & Humanities. 2017. 

Alabama SOLDIERS WELCOMED HOME

Soldiers in the 167th Infantry Regiment   arrived in New York on April 25, 1919, and spent a couple of weeks at Camp Merritt in Hoboken, New Jersey. On their way to Camp Shelby, Mississippi, they stopped in Alabama towns and cities to enjoy huge celebrations planned by communities.  A Birmingham News headline declared the men “Immortal Heroes.” The soldiers certainly looked immortal as they passed through a memorial arch built especially for their return. 

 

In Montgomery, soldiers marched through a similar four-story-high triumphal arch called the Rainbow Arch, marked with the words “Well Done, Alabama’s Own.”  

"There is no full-grown red blooded American on the streets of Birmingham but who would not be proud and glad to swap his piping, peaceful liberty as a civilian for the privilege of swinging down the avenues with those hardened heroes from overseas...They were the Crusaders. We who stayed were their servants."
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Birmingham News, May 10, 1919