IF YOU GO:
What: A military memorial for the men who died on July 16
When: Saturday at 2 p.m.; doors open at 11 a.m.
Where: McKenzie Arena, 740 E. 4th St.
Who: U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and other officials. There are seats for 8,500 people on a first-come, first-served basis.
Where to park: Attendees are encouraged to park at Engel Stadium at 1130 E. 3rd St. Free shuttles will run from the stadium to McKenzie Arena.
Source: U.S. Marines
WEEKEND MEMORIAL EVENTS
11 a.m.: Remembrance Rally at Thunder Creek Harley Davidson, 7720 Lee Highway
2 p.m.: McKenzie Arena Memorial with state and national officials
4 p.m.: A permanent memorial for the men who died will be revealed at the site of the first shooting on Lee Highway. The opening ceremony is open to the public and will be attended by law enforcement and members of the military.
6:30 p.m.: The Salvation Army and the Hamilton Place mall will host a “Chattanooga Strong” parade that will circle the mall. At the end of the parade, U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann will present a letter of appreciation to local law enforcement and officials. The public is invited to attend and bring American flags.
Sources: Salvation Army, U.S. Marine Corps, Outdoor Chattanooga, United States Motorcycle Corps Charities
Officials are still finalizing details of Saturday's national memorial to honor the men who died in the July 16 attacks, but they already expect thousands to be in attendance.
The doors of McKenzie Arena will open to the public at 11 a.m. Saturday for the national memorial service.
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter will be among the national and state officials who will attend the service, which is open to the public and expected to be attended by thousands.
Saturday's event will take place a day before the one-month anniversary of the attacks, when a lone gunman opened fire on two military sites in Chattanooga, killing five men.
Details of the service are slowly being hashed out.
Chattanoogans will have about two-and-a-half hours to find a seat in the arena — doors will close at 1:30 p.m., unless the 8,500 available seats fill up before that point.
The service will begin at 2 p.m. and is expected to last about two hours, said Marine Corps Reserve spokesman Capt. Andrew Chrestman.
Attendees are encouraged to park at Engel Stadium and take a free shuttle from the stadium to McKenzie Arena. Many of the parking lots close to McKenzie Arena will be closed to the public and reserved for VIP guests or members of the military.
Chrestman expects the service will be broadcast live for people who can't make the trip downtown.
"The goal of the event is two-fold," Chrestman said. "To honor the families that lost loved ones and for the Marine Corps and Navy to formally honor our lost brothers and thank the community for the support."
All guests will go through a security screening before entering the arena, Chrestman added. Weapons will not be allowed.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke also are expected to attend, although the final list of guests is still in flux.
The service is the largest of several memorial events planned for Saturday and Sunday — the one-month anniversary of the attacks. On Sunday, a permanent memorial for the men who died will be revealed at the site of the first shooting on Lee Highway. That ceremony is also open to the public.
Sgt. Carson Holmquist, 25; Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan, 40; Lance Cpl. Squire "Skip" Wells, 21; and Staff Sgt. David Wyatt, 35, all died in the attack. U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Smith, 26, died two days later.
Contact staff writer Shelly Bradbury at 423-757-6525 or email@example.com with tips or story ideas.