July 16 tragedy united community and brought out Chattanooga's best

Zachary Meadows stands next to Cheryl Jenkins as she waves a flag while standing by the side of Lee Highway on Sunday, July 19, 2015, in Chattanooga, Tenn., in the aftermath of a Thursday terrorist attack that killed four Marines and one member of the U.S. Navy.

We like our place. And in a disaster like this, it's just a natural response to both rally around the military and protect our community. Those two threads run deep in this community.

A day before thousands of people lined Chattanooga's streets for Staff Sgt. David Wyatt's funeral, senior train master David Johnston and a handful of other Norfolk Southern employees quietly drove those same streets, scouting for a place where they could park their own tribute -- a special locomotive, painted to honor emergency first responders and law enforcement.

The tribute locomotive just happened to already be in Chattanooga that week, and employees in Norfolk Southern's diesel shop wanted to place it along the funeral route as a show of respect.