Volunteers preserve items from Amnicola Highway memorial - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Volunteers preserve items from Amnicola Highway memorial

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For almost two months, people from across the country have stopped at the memorial site on Amnicola Highway in Chattanooga to pay their respects to the five servicemen killed in the July 16 shootings.
Now, members of the military and volunteers are working to preserve the flags and homemade signs made for the fallen five.

Channel 3 introduced you to Dana Anderson last month as she diligently pulled the grass that grew around the sea of flags and momentos at the memorial site near the Navy Operational Support Center.
"We just took it upon ourselves to do this. We didn't even know who was in charge or who was doing what or were we even supposed to be out here doing it, you know?"

Anderson has become a volunteer ambassador over the site.
"We didn't come out here for a pat on the back. We know that our community walks by this place and our military, they drive by here every day," says Anderson.

Now, she and others roll each flag with care.
"We're honorably dismantling this site."

With each passing day, some signs have weathered and faded but Anderson's resolve has not. Her goal now is to preserve the flags and messages for the victim's families.
"We're going to gather up some items to send to them so they don't feel they have to come here and they still get a part of it because that's who it's for," says Anderson.

Over the past several weeks, Anderson has been in talks with the county parks director on saving the remembrances.
"He told us, you come up with a weekend and you let us know what's good for you and then that's what we'll put out there."

The volunteers respectfully placed items for each of the fallen into marked boxes. They plan on saving the silk flowers and flags to put at their gravesides throughout the year.
"The term 'hashtag Nooga Strong,' we are. Or we can be. It's a choice," says Anderson.

Volunteers also took down the site to make way for a possible permanent memorial. City and county officials are discussing plans for a memorial near the entrance of the Riverpark.

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