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FIRST ON 3: Mayor invites Harry Connick Jr. to "Chattanooga Unite: A Tribute on the River"

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Harry Connick Jr. Harry Connick Jr.
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: Every night after work, Dana Anderson comes across the street to the make-shift memorial on Amnicola Highway. 

“When the wind blows and when it rains, the flags fall over,” she said, “So I just hammer in the flags and pick them up and pick up trash.” 

Even though in a couple of days these flags, messages and mementos will be moved, Anderson does the job anyway. 

Not because she’s been asked, but because it’s her way of giving back. 

“I can’t put on a uniform and go overseas or join the military but I can pull grass. You know, I can take a couple hours of my day and come out here and pull some grass and pick up flags, get the flags off the ground. It’s the least I can do,” she added. 

Anderson was working across the street when the gunman opened fire at the Navel and Marine Resource Center across the street. She remembers hearing the gunfire. 

“We thought that there were shooters in all the businesses killing everybody. We didn’t know. It was such a helpless feeling. I knew that I couldn’t get to my family,” she said. 

For Anderson, being here every night after work is more than pulling grass. It’s how she copes. 

“Just talking to everybody and it just kind of helps to know that we’re not alone and there are people that actually care,” she added. 

As the city as a whole continues to heal, details continue to emerge on a tribute in the works next month. 

Channel 3 obtained a letter from Mayor Andy Berke to music artist Harry Connick Jr. inviting him to perform “Eternal Father” at the event called Chattanooga Unite: A Tribute on the River. It’s set for September 16th, two months after the shooting. 

Brantley Gilbert has already confirmed he will perform at the benefit concert on Chattanooga’s riverfront. 

Connick has not confirmed if he will be there. 

For Anderson, it’s another example of Chattanooga’s resilience. 

“It’s a tragedy that happened, but there’s good coming from it. Just like it always does if you allow it.”

The mayor’s office has not released details about the event to not overshadow Saturday’s memorial service. 

A press conference is scheduled for Monday. 

Stay with Channel 3 for updates. 


Channel 3 has learned that performer Harry Connick Jr. has been invited by Mayor Andy Berke to perform in Chattanooga on September 16.

The date marks two months after the tragic July 16 shooting in Chattanooga, in which four U.S. Marines and a U.S. Navy sailor were slain.

In his invitation, Berke called the event “Chattanooga Unite: A Tribute on the River” and appealed to Connick as a Southerner to attend and perform to help heal the city.

Berke asked Connick to sing “Eternal Father” at the event, also known as The Navy Hymn, and was played as John F. Kennedy’s casket was carried up the steps of the U.S. Capital to lie in state in 1963.

Channel 3 has confirmed that Connick is working with his schedule to be in the Scenic City on the date invited by Berke, but no other details have yet been released.

As previously reported, country music star Brantley Gilbert is also coming to Chattanooga. Details will be released on Monday at a news conference.

The event, along the Tennessee River at Ross's Landing, will utilize the same barge used for Riverbend and the Friends of the Festival will be organizing the event.

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