UPDATE: Flags line Veterans Bridge, honoring vets - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Flags line Veterans Bridge, honoring vets

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UPDATE: You’ve probably seen them lining Chattanooga’s Veterans Bridge: the American flags that pay tribute to our country and veterans. Friday, new flags and new stories fly above the Tennessee River, each represent freedom, but to some they mean a lot more.

"It means he served out country. He did it proudly, and very honorably," Sharon Grimsley, the mother of a fallen veteran, said.

Grimsley’s son Seargent Thomas Douglas Wright Jr. died in the line of duty last year. She’s wanted to buy her a flag for months, when a spot opened she jumped at the opportunity.

Since 2003, the flags were provided by an anonymous donor. After more than 10 years the city received word that person could no longer buy the flags, so Scott McKenzie asked the city if he could buy a flag for his dad’s 90th birthday.

"And when he contacted us with that idea that he wanted to do personally I thought what a great idea why don't we make that available to anyone who wants to donate a flag," said Caroline Johnson, program coordinator.  

Friday the Veterans Bridge Flag Initiative has grown, every 6 months new flags are raised, new tributes to those who paid the ultimate price.'

"Every time I go across that bridge I look at the flags and I know that each one of them is flying for someone who gave his or her life, someone who sacrificed their personal time to protect us,” Johnson explained.

Each family received a certificate, signed by Mayor Andy berke, recognizing their service to our country.

Five flags never change, the five in the center of the bridge stay up year round in memory of the four marines and sailor, who were killed on July 16th. Now, new stories fly with them. Different veterans, same meaning.

"There’s my buddy, everybody will get to see him for the next six month and I’ll have to go tell everyone which one it is on,” Grimsley said.

Right now, the flags through Armed Forces Day and some of Veterans Day 2018 have already been sold.

Officials say anyone who wishes to honor a service man or woman can do so by donating the cost of a flag, which is $75.00. Flags stay up for six months and are switched twice a year around Veterans Day and Armed Forces Day.

For more information on the Veterans Bridge Flag Initiative, visit the website


ORIGINAL STORY: Ahead of Veterans Day, The City of Chattanooga honored our country's servicemen and women with the installation of new American flags on the Veterans Bridge. 

The event began at 11:00am Friday morning at the Bluff View Art District Sculpture Garden.

Officials say the flags, which were raised during the ceremony, will fly alongside the five permanent flags that are set in memory of the four marines and a sailor who were killed on July 16, 2015. 

Mayor Andy Berke, members of the Chattanooga City Council and Chattanooga Police Department, families, and citizens who donated flags in honor of veterans were in attendance at the event.

The Veterans Bridge Flag Initiative was first launched in May of 2014 in Chattanooga to ensure those who have served our country will continue to be honored through American flags.

Officials say anyone who wishes to honor a service man or woman can do so by donating the cost of a flag, which is $75.00. Flags stay up for six months and are switched twice a year around Veterans Day and Armed Forces Day.

For more information on the Veterans Bridge Flag Initiative, visit the website

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