It was a solemn scene as pall bearers, also U.S. Marines, carried Staff Sergeant David Wyatt’s flag draped casket to the waiting white hearse, ready to take him to his final resting place. 

Thousands lined the procession route from Hixson United Methodist Church to the Chattanooga National Cemetery to pay their final respects to Chattanooga’s own hometown hero. 

The typical hustle along Hixson Pike was at a complete standstill, while thousands of American flags lined the roadway as the mile-long procession made up of hundreds of motorcycles, emergency and other vehicles slowly passed by. 

Some were veterans of wars others, like Private Curtis Cooper, are new to the uniform. 

“It’s pretty amazing seeing how many people came out here to show their support. I’ve never seen so many people willing to come out here and stand in the heat to pay their respects to the military,” Cooper said. 

On Amnicola Highway the procession moved on, passing the Navel and Marine Reserve Center where Wyatt and four others spent their final moments. 

Tim Beliveau came here with his wife. 

“It only seemed right to come out and pay our respects and honor those that have fallen and paid the price for our freedom and the rights that we have,” Beliveau added. 

Further along the route even more lined Holtzclaw Avenue, standing silent with flags in hand, giving the Marine one final salute. 

For Joy Colby, this showing is all part of being Chattanooga strong. 

“Chill bumps, tear in the eye, a lump in the throat, waving the flag. That’s really ‘Nooga strong,” Colby added. 

A proper final farewell for a husband, father and Marine. Our hero, who paid the ultimate sacrifice.