This weekend, the community will pause as we honor the five fallen military men killed by a gunman last month in our town.
National leaders and military heads will be here as we honor the fallen.
We will never forget the horror or the images or the tragedy. We will never forget the day the global headlines turned left on Lee Highway and sped down Amnicola where five lives and a chunk of our city's innocence were taken in a rain of bullets.
We will never forget, and this weekend's ceremony will leave a tangible marker of the permanent grief.
And that's how it should be.
But this morning we should all remember the anniversary of the greatest day of the Greatest Generation.
Today is the 70th anniversary of Japan announcing its surrender, ending World War II. There will be a special wreath ceremony at Chattanooga National Cemetery at 11 a.m.
It's an event sponsored by the Chattanooga Area Veterans Council and in coordination with the "Keep the Spirit of '45 Alive" organization.
"I am planning to attend," North Georgia resident Allen Crawford told me this week. "(The National Cemetery) is such a special place. It's sacred."
Far too many of us are far too busy, so that often when we see funeral processions, we wonder about the cause of the pause in our daily life rather than the other way around.
Crawford and the thousands of his fellow WWII veterans deserve better than that.
Crawford graduated high school early, getting his diploma from Southeastern High in Detroit in January 1943. He was in the Army Air Corps and in training before February ended.
He said he flew 35 bomber missions on a B-17 Flying Fortress, first as a bombardier, then as a navigator, over Europe.
He was scared and proud, and we all can agree that all of them were heroes.
Enjoy the ceremony, Mr. Crawford; you and your patriotic brothers deserve that and so much more.
Today's ceremony deserves our attention. It would be getting more if not for the assassin who terrorized our city a month ago, changed lives and altered the way many of us view things.
We need to remember the fallen five as part of the grieving process that will give way to the healing process. The monument will always help us remember.
But for Crawford and his peers, we must never forget. We must know that they changed the course of history, one bomber mission and one personal sacrifice at a time.
Anything we can do to thank all of our WWII veterans — and all of military warriors, alive and fallen, for that matter — we should.
"I respect all the people that served," Crawford said, "especially those there (at the National Cemetery). It's really hallowed ground when you imagine and know what those there gave up."
And they gave it for their country and for all of us.
Contact Jay Greeson at firstname.lastname@example.org and at 423-757-6343. You can read his online column the "5-at-10" every Monday through Friday at timesfreepress.com, and you can follow him on Twitter at @jgreesontfp.