July 16th memorial song debuts during Pops on the River - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

July 16th memorial song debuts during Pops on the River

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

In less than two weeks, the Chattanooga community will come together to remember the five servicemen killed during the July 16th terror attacks.

During Pops on the River on Sunday, a new song talking about that day was performed called "When Terror Came to Chattanooga." It was a collaboration between Lieutenant Commander Tim White who was there that day and Operation Song.

Sunday was the first time the song had been performed live.

"Writing the song was exciting by itself and very therapeutic to be able to put some of the feelings that I've had to words and not just put it into words, put it into verse and music," Lt. Cmdr Tim White said.

White was working at the Navy Operational Support Center on July 16th. He remembers Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Smith running into his office saying a car just crashed the gate. That's a big part of the song.

White fired back at the shooter with his personal weapon. Even though nearly a year has passed, he said the feelings about the day are still fresh.

"I've thought about it every day since July 16th. It's been something that has affected the way our family lives, the way we conduct ourselves outside our home and inside our home. It's really been something that's life changing," White said.

Operation Song helps veterans and their families share their stories. For one song writer, it's been powerful hearing about that day.

"Singing this song, I feel energized, I guess I would say. When you sing that song 'sir, a car just crashed the gate and I looked out my window,' you're right there with them when it happened," Steve Dean, a song writer with Operation Song said.

White described the song writing process as healing and therapeutic. It was his first time hearing it live on Sunday with his family.

His children held up signs reading "Chattanooga Strong," which is a big message behind the song.

"What we've seen in Chattanooga is the whole community coming together in support of the first responders and military members following the July 16th attacks and i just wanted the song to communicate how important that is," White said.

The city has put together a website with a list of events set for July 16th.  

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