Coast Guard honored in Armed Forces Day Parade

Coast Guard honored in Armed Forces Day Parade

May 3rd, 2013 by Todd South in Local Regional News

Draped in an American flag, Fuller Crumley, 7, also waves a flag as the annual Armed Forces Day Parade passes by on Market Street in this 2012 file photo.

Photo by Ashlee Culverhouse/Times Free Press.

IF YOU GO

* What: 64th annual Armed Forces Day Parade

* When: 10:30 a.m.

* Where: Begins at Market Street and M.L.King Boulevard; ends at Second Street

* Cost: Free

Source: Parade Committee, Chattanooga's Armed Forces Celebration

ROADS CLOSED

To accommodate Armed Forces Day Parade preparations, the following road closures will be in effect this morning:

• The curb lane of the 600 block of northbound Market Street, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• Market Street from M.L. King Boulevard to 12th Street, 7:30 to 10:45 a.m.

• Market Street and the intersecting cross streets (one block each side of Market Street) from M.L. King Boulevard to Third Street, 10:30 to 11:45 a.m.

• Third Street between Chestnut Street and Market Street, Broad Street between Aquarium Way and Third Street, northbound Broad Street between Third and Fourth streets, eastbound Fourth Street between Chestnut and Broad streets and Fourth Street between Broad and Cherry streets, 10:45 to 11:45 a.m.

• All the streets are expected to be reopened by about 12:30 p.m.

Few may see them or know what they do, but nearly every day U.S. Coast Guard service members cruise the Tennessee River, keeping buoys serviceable and helping the waterway's navigation.

Today the "Coasties," as they're often called, will be the featured service branch in Chattanooga's 64th annual Armed Forces Day Parade.

Seaman Stephen George is one of the deck hands who will travel down the river today on the Coast Guard Cutter Ouachita and tie off at Ross's Landing for public tours.

George said the 20-member staff at the Chattanooga station serves 600 miles of the river from Knoxville to the Pickwick Landing Dam, near Counce, Tenn.

"From sunup to sundown" they work the river, George said, clearing debris and maintaining a system that includes 1,338 buoys, 235 lights and 138 day beacons.

Today's parade features nearly 100 groups from JROTC units to veterans groups and local high school bands.

Cmdr. Robert Helton is the featured speaker for the parade. The commander leads the Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment in Nashville.

Following the parade Helton will speak at a luncheon at the Chattanooga Convention Center. At 7 p.m. the Charlie Daniels Band will perform at Engel Stadium to benefit the Veterans Entrepreneurship Program at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

The parade has operated continuously since 1949 in Chattanooga and is the only such parade in uninterrupted operation in a city of this size, according to a parade committee news release.

Contact staff writer Todd South at 423-757-6347 or tsouth@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @tsouthCTFP.