Make-shift memorials removed by family members volunteers - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Make-shift memorials removed by family members volunteers

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It's now been more than a month since a lone gunman attacked military personnel on Chattanooga soil.

For the last four weeks, the recruiting center on Lee Highway and the Naval and Marine Corps Reserve Center on Amnicola Highway has boasted makeshift memorials that began growing in the hours after the July 16 attacks. 

The long-standing memorial at the Lee Highway site was officially replaced with something permanent, Sunday.  

Volunteers worked together in the rain to carefully clean up the memorial sites Monday. They say the cleanup there is the final page of the chapter in healing and moving forward. 

"The Lord is crying, the angels are crying....they're sad," said volunteer Irene Bailey. "This just sounded like a fitting end to help take away this memorial so we can concentrate on the permanent one."

The memorial site at Lee Highway is where it all began, acts of terrorism followed by tremendous bravery.

"I want it to be pristine, I want it to honor the fallen," said volunteer Susan Lindsey. 

Volunteer Susan Lindsey served in the Air Force and National Guard for 26 years. 

 "It broke my heart when I heard the news and it just makes me want to cry when I look at it because of who we lost," said Lindsey 

You laid down American flags, personal letters, Bibles,  boots and flowers to honor our five fallen heroes. 

 "It just says how strong Chattanooga is and how much we love our military," said Lindsey. "I want them to know they are loved they are prayed for and that we are here for them."

 The Sons and Daughters of American Revolution say they'll make sure your messages of strength, love, hope, honor and respect are heard. 

"We're getting all of the flags going to spread them out and dry them out and they will be recycled to schools and patriotic groups," said Terry Siler, Sons of American Revolution. 
"Want it to serve as a reminder that we, as American citizens, owe our freedom to these men and I want the family to understand their sacrifice will not be forgotten," said Lindsey.

Volunteers will split up the memorabilia between the National Medal of Honor Museum in Hixson, local schools and veterans organizations so there will always be a permanent display of the makeshift memorials in town. Volunteers used the same method of dismantling the memorial along Amnicola Highway.

Organizers say the property is owned by the city and the military and there are discussions for a permanent memorial there, but no details yet. 

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