Medal of Honor winner Larry Taylor will be celebrated with a parade and ceremony in downtown Chattanooga on Monday.
The "Welcome Home" and Patriot Day parade will begin at 11:30 a.m. on Market Street at the intersection of M.L. King Boulevard and travel northbound toward Aquarium Way, according to a news release from the the city. The parade is expected to last 45 minutes.
The parade will conclude with a ceremony at 1 p.m. in front of the Coolidge National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, where local, state and national dignitaries will speak, according to a news release from the center.
Taylor was presented the Medal of Honor by President Joe Biden on Tuesday during a ceremony at the White House in Washington. Taylor, a retired Army captain from Chattanooga who flew Cobra helicopters during the Vietnam War, was honored for his heroics on June 18, 1968, when he rescued a four-man long-range reconnaissance patrol team that was pinned down by the enemy. The medal presentation marked the culmination of an appeals process spanning more than five years to get Taylor the nation's highest award for military valor in action.
Taylor was the 33rd Tennessean and sixth person with ties to the Chattanooga area to receive the Medal of Honor, according to the Heritage Center.
The parade and special ceremony are a joint effort of the Heritage Center, city of Chattanooga, Hamilton County, the Chattanooga Area Veterans Council and the the Vietnam Veterans of American Post 203.
Where to watch
The general public is invited to line Market Street for the parade and in front of the Heritage Center at the Aquarium Plaza.
For those who can't make it downtown but want to view the festivities, they will be livestreamed at www.mohhc.org.
Impact on traffic
Market Street between West 12th Street/Houston Street and M.L. King Boulevard will close from 9:30 a.m. until 12:15 p.m. (estimated) for parade staging, according to the city. The plan includes the full closure of intersections at Market Street and 11th Street and Georgia Avenue and 10th Street. Detours during that time will be via Broad Street. Street parking will be prohibited within this closure.
To clear the roadway for the parade, Market Street will be closed at Frazier Avenue at 11:30 a.m., according to the city. All southbound traffic will need to detour via Manufacturers Road and Highway 27.
The full closure of Market Street will also limit all eastbound and westbound for about an hour (estimated) beginning at 11:30 a.m. at the following intersections: 11th Street, 10th Street, M.L. King Boulevard, Eighth Street, Seventh Street, Sixth Street, Fifth Street, Fourth Street, Third Street, Aquarium Way and East First Street.
Fourth Street east and westbound will remain open across Market Street until the parade reaches Fourth Street. At that point, only emergency vehicles will be allowed on Fourth Street, according to the city.
All traffic west of Market Street needing to travel eastbound will detour via Broad Street/Highway 27 to West 12th Street.
All traffic east of Market Street needing to travel westbound will detour via Cherry Street, East Eighth Street (to travel briefly eastbound), Lindsay Street and Houston Street. Riverfront Parkway or Main Street are recommended as alternative routes to travel east or west of Market Street during the closure, according to the city.
Broad Street between East Third Street and Aquarium Way will be closed between 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m., as will Aquarium Way between Chestnut Street and Market Street, according to the city.
Street parking will also be prohibited during this time.
CARTA and Chattanooga Parking Authority lots are available with the north and south shuttle parking garages being the best options to park and walk to the parade route, according to the city.
When choosing a parking location, please keep the expected high traffic volumes in mind as high levels of vehicular and pedestrian traffic are expected within the Market and Broad downtown corridor. Plan additional time both arriving and departing for the parade.
CARTA's downtown electric shuttle will operate as normal. However, the shuttle stops between 12th Street and 11th Street (Warehouse Row/Development Resource Center) will not have service between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., according to the city.
All Bike Chattanooga bike sharing stations will operate as normal and are an option to travel from nearby parking lots to the parade route.
The parade will officially start with a special flyover by a vintage Cobra AH1 helicopter, the helicopter Taylor was flying during his Medal of Honor action, and a modern-day Army Apache helicopter from the Army's 101st Airborne Division out of Fort Campbell on the Tennessee-Kentucky border, according to the Heritage Center news release.
Both helicopters will conduct their flyover down the parade route on Market Street.
Taylor will serve as the grand marshal for the parade. The commanding general's mounted color guard, representing Fort Riley in Northeastern Kansas and the U.S. Army, will lead the parade. The color guard's men and women portray the U.S. Cavalry as it appeared in the mid- to late 19th century, according to the Heritage Center.
The Army's 1st Infantry Division Band, the Big Red One, will follow the color guard. The Big Red One represents the 1st Infantry Division for military ceremonies and communities that support the American soldier, the Heritage Center said.
The parade will also feature a variety of high school bands and JROTC units from schools throughout Hamilton County and the surrounding community. In addition, ROTC units from universities throughout the region will be marching in the parade alongside various local businesses and veteran organizations representing all branches of the military and the different wars and conflicts that have occurred during U.S. history, according to the Heritage Center.
At approximately 1 p.m., the parade will conclude with an official ceremony at the Heritage Center. The following dignitaries are expected to speak.
— Medal of Honor recipient Leroy Petry, president of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society.
— Brig. Gen. Niave Knell, deputy commanding general for the Army's 1st Infantry Division.
— Brig. Gen. Warner Ross, adjutant general for the Tennessee National Guard.
— Retired Army Sgt. David Hill, who was among the four men Taylor rescued.
— Retired Army Gen. B.B. Bell, chair of the Heritage Center's National Advisory Board.
— U.S. Chuck Fleischmann.
— Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly.
— Hamilton County Mayor Weston Wamp.
— Retired Marine Col. Frank Hughes, chair of the Heritage Center's board of trustees.
Heritage Center open
To honor Taylor, the Heritage Center will offer free admission from noon to 3:30 p.m. on Monday.
— Compiled by Lew Gilliland
Staff Writer Andrew Schwartz contributed to this story.