UPDATE: Officials hold groundbreaking for Fallen Five Memorial
It's called “Wreath of Honor." It pays tribute to the five servicemen killed and the acts of kindness and support from the community after the attack.
UPDATE: City officials gathered for the groundbreaking of the long-awaited memorial to honor Chattanooga's Fallen Five on Thursday.
The permanent memorial will be located at the Tennessee Riverpark near the U.S. Navy Operational Support Center. The design for the memorial was one of three finalists selected back in February.
It's called “Wreath of Honor."
It pays tribute to the five servicemen killed and the acts of kindness and support from the community after the attack.
“People have been looking forward to seeing what this is going to look like and what you hear time and time again his people wanting to continue in this community to pay their respects,” said Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger. "What I see in the future is a lot of foot traffic to come through here. A lot of people will take a moment to say silent prayers, because we could never forget the sacrifices that our Armed Forces made throughout this world."
The memorial will be made of five pillars arranged in a halo, with each one representing a service member who lost their life that day in July.
“The idea of kind of creating something so close to the event was I think part of the rawness and power we felt when we came here and visited members of the family,” said RE:site artist, Norman Lee.
Lee says it's been an emotional process, one he wanted the families of the Fallen Five to be part of.
“They added texture and personalities to the individual fallen five members. They wanted it to be a place where people could come together and feel hope as opposed to sadness,” said Lee.
But he says Chattanooga had to be represented as well. Seventy-five thoughts and phrases from the community will be inscribed on the wreath.
“We have not incorporated phrases like that before so it became this kind of vision that we thought was very fitted,” said Lee.
July 16th will never be forgotten, but Lee hopes many will come to learn about the Fallen Five's service and sacrifice.
“There’s going to be biographical information for each of the Fallen Five and that’s something that we want to work very closely with family and family representatives.”
The memorial is still in the designing stage, but the plan is to reveal it in time for next year's July 16th anniversary.
To submit phrases for the memorial, click here.
PREVIOUS STORY: The Chattanooga community will honor the five servicemen who were killed in an attack three years ago this week.
City leaders will break ground on a long-awaited memorial at the Tennessee River Park Thursday morning.
The design, called “Wreath of Honor” will take about a year to build.
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City officials say the victims’ families had input in the selection process and are inspired by the design.
“I think what is most overwhelming to them is how the community continues to turn out and continues to not forget the sacrifices that they made,” said Katelyn Kirnie, Executive Director of Public Art Chattanooga.
The groundbreaking will begin at 11:00am Thursday near the Navy Operational Support Center on Amnicola Highway.
Those planning to attend can park at the Hubert Fry Center.