Chattanooga community honors Fallen Five 3 years later
The community took a moment to remember Chattanooga's darkest day in history.
Three years ago, on July 16, 2015, a gunman opened fire on two military installations killing five servicemen.
At 10:46 Monday morning, the Chattanooga community paused to remember Sergeant Carson Holmquist, Staff Sergeant David Wyatt, Navy Petty Officer Second Class Randall Smith, Gunnery Sergeant Thomas Sullivan and Lance Corporal Skip Wells.
"They died for a reason. We'll never know what the reason was but always celebrate their lives. They're in a much better place," Gilbert Williams said.
Coins, pins and a wreath were some of the mementos displayed around the memorial on Lee Highway, the first place where the gunman opened fire before killing the five servicemen at the Naval and Marine Reserve Center on Amnicola Highway.
Williams makes it a point to come to all the events honoring the men killed.
"I'm a Marine. Those are my brothers. Veterans are brothers no matter what. I didn't know them, but they were my brothers," he added.
Donna Stapp understands the silent bond shared among service members and their families.
Her son is currently deployed to Kuwait and just re-enlisted in the Marines.
"Just the week before he was here, but when this happened, he had just left on his way to California and had he been here; he could have been one of them," Stapp said.
Everyone here comes from a different walk of life, but their reason for pausing is the same.
"They're never gone, they're always with us and in my prayers daily," Stapp added.
"They'll never be forgotten. Our kids will be remembering them," Williams said.
And they hope that reason never changes`.