In a somber voice, Patty Parks, a retired U.S. Navy Commander, gave the last roll call to honor the fallen soldiers that died this year from the Chattanooga area.
Several hundred sat in silence while others stood from a distance near the Armed Forces Pavilion at the Chattanooga National Cemetery during today’s Memorial Day service.
“I’m honored to recognize our fallen veterans for the past year and saddened,” Parks said to the crowd.
From the distance, people could be seen placing flowers along the graves of veterans. A small American flag waved in the breeze in front of each tombstone.
When Vietnam veteran Roger Helle spoke he pointed out that the soldiers still serving must also be remembered today.
“If we do not honor the ones who are serving now and by doing that keeping America free ... we dishonor those who paid the ultimate price,” he said.
Joy Lukachick Smith is the city government reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Since 2009, she's covered crime and court systems in North Georgia and rural Tennessee, landed an exclusive in-prison interview with a former cop convicted of killing his wife, exposed impropriety in an FBI-led, child-sex online sting and exposed corruption in government agencies. Earlier this year, Smith won the Malcolm Law Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting. She also won first place in ...