On Friday afternoon, as the family of Staff Sgt. David Allen Wyatt drove through Chattanooga during his funeral procession, they watched thousands of residents line the streets. They saw flags, posters and patriotic banners.
Wyatt's mother, Deborah Boen, said she has been overwhelmed by the city's response to the deaths of four Marines and one Navy petty officer. She has adopted the "Nooga Strong" slogan and wanted to address the city.
My name is Deborah Boen, mother of David Wyatt. I wanted to reach out to thank the city of Chattanooga for their graciousness and outpouring of love to our family and friends of my son.
Even in our sorrow, we feel that God is blessing us with the outpouring of love from this community.
We cried all the way to the cemetery and were in awe of all who stood in the hot sun to honor our son and all the fallen heroes. We saw it all, and felt all the love showered upon us.
I want to thank also the management and staff of the Hampton Inn North on Weir Way. From the moment we arrived, we were treated with such kindness and compassion. Our rooms were appointed with gift baskets, many cards from the community, and the staff has made our sad stay very comfortable.
The city of Chattanooga will have my son forever, and what a wonderful place for his eternal rest.
I pray for our nation, and I pray that someday we can all live in peace. Nooga Strong, yes you are. I am swelled with pride. Our family will never forget all your love and graciousness.