Ahead of Veterans Day, the City of Chattanooga will honor the country’s service men and women with the installation of new American flags on Veterans Bridge. The flags, which will be raised during a ceremony on Friday at 11 a.m. at the Bluff View Art District Sculpture Garden, will fly alongside the five permanent flags that are in memory of the four marines and sailor, who were killed on July 16, 2015.
Mayor Andy Berke, the City Council, the Chattanooga Police Department, and families and citizens who donated flags in honor of veterans will be in attendance
The City of Chattanooga launched the Veterans Bridge Flag Initiative in May 2014 to ensure those who bravely served the country would continue to be honored through American flags flying on Veterans Bridge.
Any group or person who wishes to honor a service man or woman can do so by donating the cost of a flag which is $75. Honorees receive a proclamation recognizing their service to their country and announcing the pole number from which their flag flies. Flags are up for six months and switched twice a year around Veterans Day and Armed Forces Day.
On Veterans Day 2015, five permanent flags were raised in memory of the five fallen servicemen killed on July 16, 2015. The flags are on poles W6, W7, W8, W9, and W9 on the west side of the bridge where there is a sidewalk, allowing people to visit and pay respects.
Prior to the Veterans Bridge Flag Initiative, an anonymous donor supplied all the funds annually for 10 years to replace each of the American flags hanging on Veterans Bridge – a total of about $40,000. The city created a way to continue the important tradition after being notified in 2013 that the anonymous donor could no longer continue to provide those funds.