POLL: Will you take part in a July 16 memorial event?
City officials have planned a full day of memorial events to mark the one-year anniversary of the July 16 terrorist attack in Chattanooga, when a lone gunman opened fire on two military sites and killed five U.S. service members.
The events range from races to concerts to art exhibits. They kick off at 6 a.m. Saturday and end after sunset. Some, like an afternoon interfaith service, are aimed at showing unity that stretches beyond politics or religion. Others will be quiet moments of grief and reflection.
Mayor Andy Berke said he hopes the day's events will be a fitting way to honor the men who died.
"This is a historic day in our city. We lost five heroes who were defending our country," he said. "We wanted to make sure that one year later we honored them in an appropriate way."
Sgt. Carson Holmquist, 25; Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan, 40; Lance Cpl. Squire "Skip" Wells, 21; Staff Sgt. David A. Wyatt, 35, and U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Smith were killed in the attack.
Chattanooga Police Officer Dennis Pedigo and Marine Sgt. DeMonte Cheeley were wounded but survived.
As the events for the anniversary approach, officials are also planning security measures, Chattanooga police Chief of Staff David Roddy said.
"We run through our standard event preparation, which is heavily reliant on mutual aid," he said. "We still rely on the partnerships [with other law enforcement agencies] that we had before July 16."
In general, security at public events has become a higher priority since the terrorist attack, Berke said.
"We plan more for it, we discuss it more, we put more care into the details, we just know that it's an essential part of having a public event now, particularly around July 16."
Here's what's going on to mark the anniversary and honor the men who died in the attack.
July 16 memorial events
› Blood Drive: Blood Assurance will conduct a two-day blood drive on July 15-16. Contact 423-752-5926 for more information.
› 8 a.m. Heroes Run/Walk: Participants may walk or run in a five-mile race. Registration begins at 6 a.m. at the U.S. Naval and Marine Reserve Center on Amnicola Highway, and the race starts at 8 a.m. For more information, visit www.chattanoogaheroesrun.com.
› 10:45 a.m. Chattanooga Remembers: Mayor Andy Berke will lead a memorial ceremony on the Chattanooga Riverfront downtown at about 10:45 a.m. The a U.S. Navy Band will begin playing at 10 a.m. Church bells will ring to mark the moment the first shots were reported at the reserve center. For more information, visit connect.chattanooga.gov/noogastrong.
› 11 a.m. Memorial Ride: Motorcyclists will drive from Thunder Creek Harley Davidson in Chattanooga to the Chattanooga National Cemetery. A $15 registration fee will go to Wreaths Across America. Visit www.noogastrongride.com for more information.
› 2:30 p.m. Interfaith Service: Faith leaders will gather at the UTC Student Center for an interfaith service to come together and reflect.
› 6:30 p.m Patriotic Riverfront Nights: The city's annual free Saturday night concert series will begin on July 16 with a special patriotic concert at Ross's Landing on the Riverfront. Call 423-756-2211 for more information.
› 9 p.m. Mural Lighting: Artist Kevin Bate will light up a mural 1715 McCallie Ave.