The weekend will be full of Chattanooga Strong public tributes for five fallen servicemen killed here in a mass shooting on July 16.
Vice President Joe Biden will join Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker, U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke in a memorial event at McKenzie Arena this afternoon. Before that, local motorcyclists plan a remembrance rally starting at the Thunder Creek Harley Davidson center on Lee Highway. And on the river there will be a Chattanooga Freedom Float by Outdoor Chattanooga and the local boating community.
On Sunday afternoon, a just-completed bronze sculpture and flying flag will be revealed as a permanent memorial at the site of the first shooting on Lee Highway. In the evening a "Chattanooga Strong" parade will circle Hamilton Place mall. And next month, a 65-foot ribbon sculpture, now named "Five Anchors Strong," will be raised at Montague Park.
All of these honors will not bring back the five servicemen killed — Marine Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan, Marine Lance Cpl. Squire K. "Skip" Wells, Marine Sgt. Carson Holmquist, Marine Staff Sgt. David Wyatt and U.S. Navy Petty Officer Randall Smith. But the tributes show this city's strength in remembrance, unity, service and forgiveness.
Chattanooga strong today. And Chattanooga stronger tomorrow.