This week has been quite a significant one when it comes to remembering some of our nation’s historical events. On Wednesday, our nation reflected on the attacks of 9-11 and the many lives lost. On the same day, Empowerment Week kicked off in Birmingham, Ala., as our country approaches what will be the 50th anniversary of the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church on Sunday.

Marking these five days, the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) also convened in Birmingham to take part in the commemorative activities. Our industry was proud to welcome them to the city, which is home to a number of ABA member companies, including Coca-Cola Bottling Company United (CCBCU) and Buffalo Rock. In fact, CCBCU Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer Claude Nielsen, who also is chair of ABA’s Board of Directors, was honored to welcome the mayors to his hometown, recognizing Birmingham Mayor William A. Bell and the many improvements that have been made by the city.

Our industry is not only proud to be part of the Birmingham community, as well as communities across our great nation, but also to help support USCM as they work to bring people together and make our towns and cities better places for all of us who live and work in them – and hopefully visit them as well.

After all, we know it takes government, community leaders, industry and more working together on meaningful solutions to societal challenges. That is why our industry is proud to be a partner with USCM on the 2014 Childhood Obesity Prevention Awards Program, a program to “recognize outstanding mayoral-based initiatives that have the greatest potential to reduce childhood obesity, and to provide those outstanding programs with capacity-building resources to assist them in scaling up their local programs for broader reach in tackling the challenge of childhood obesity.” Working together, we can make a difference and deliver results, all the while, sharing a brighter vision of our future.