Americans' current involvement in dangerous military service in Iraq and Afghanistan is far from Chattanooga. But Chattanoogans continue enthusiastically to express our appreciation of all members of our armed services through annual Armed Forces Day observances.
Our area has had no large military base since the closing of Fort Oglethorpe in Georgia after World War II. But Chattanooga continues to be outstanding in its patriotic Armed Forces Day activities. (Armed Forces Day is officially on May 21 this year, but it's celebrated earlier here so more schools can be involved.)
Today there will be a parade from M.L. King Boulevard along Market Street to Third Street beginning at 10:30 a.m. Tennessee Army Air National Guard Maj. Marty Malone will be the parade's master of ceremonies.
The reviewing officer will be retired Marine Maj. Gen. Kevin B. Kuklok, of Loudon, Tenn. He flew a Cobra helicopter in Vietnam in 1970-'71, and was activated in Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
Chattanooga Rotarians yesterday welcomed as their featured speaker Maj. Gen. Max Haston, a native of McMinnville, Tenn., who has had numerous short service tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The people of our community have a long record of honoring members of our military forces from all conflicts. It is with great appreciation of all who have served in the military that we salute them with Armed Forces Day celebrations.