Gold Star Memorial Marker dedicated to the Fallen Five - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Gold Star Memorial Marker dedicated to the Fallen Five

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Many roadways and parks throughout the country are marked with blue and gold stars honoring the men and woman who sacrifice their lives to serve our country, and now for the first time Chattanooga has one of its own.

The Gold Star Memorial Marker now brightly shines behind the U.S. Naval Reserve where five servicemen lost their lives during the July 16, 2015 terrorist attack. 

An intimate crowd of service men and women, local officials and veterans like Richard Crotteau watched as the new memorial was revealed. 

"It's somewhat disappointing over recent years as we've sort of had a lack of respect for those of us that have served and families that have given up and do give up a lot so this really means a lot to show appreciation," said Crotteau. 

Marine Staff Sgt. David Wyatt's parents shed tears as their son was honored. 
    
"So often people just to think about the man or woman that's serving, but you know there's a family there's parents there's spouses there's children that are affected and deeply affected," said Crotteau. 

The Lookout Mountain Beautiful Garden Club sponsored the Gold Star Memorial Marker. 

The gold star is a symbol created by the Tennessee Federation of Garden Clubs, Incorporated. It's dedicated to the families of those who have died in combat. 

Candace Chazen, the director the Garden Club of Tennessee's 3rd District, explained the blue star has its origins in the homes of families who sent loved ones to fight in World War II. Banners would be hung in the windows to honor their service, and in 1945 the National Council of State Garden Clubs used that as a starting point to launch the network of Blue Star memorials that exists today. Chazen says the memorials help families heal, but also encourage change in communities nationwide. 

"I hope that they reach deep into their hearts and give to others love, peace.. strive for peace and unity." 
        
It's something some say Chattanooga knows all too well. 

"Chattanooga strong; very patriotic. I'm proud to be a member of the community," said Crotteau. 

This weekend Chattanoogan's will continue to focus on the lives and families of our five fallen servicemen.

Runners will lace up for the Chattanooga Heroes Run. The five mile run will be Saturday starting at 8 a.m. at the Navy Operation and Support Center on Amnicola Highway and will end at the Hubert Fry Center in the Tennessee Riverpark. There will also be a children's fun run at 10 a.m.

The events continue Sunday with the Chattanooga Strong Community Concert. It will include a moment of silence, live music, crafts and river paddling. The event will be at the Tennessee Riverpark at the Hubert Fry Center starting at 5 p.m.

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