Flags raised on Veterans Bridge
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — Ahead of Veterans Day, the city of Chattanooga honored our country’s service men and women with the installation of new American flags on Veterans Bridge.
American flags fly on Veterans Bridge. On Friday morning at a ceremony, flags were raised in honor of service men and women.
“Because of your service and the service of your loved ones, we sit here today in the greatest country in the world as free citizens,” said Mayor Andy Berke.
One flag will represent Joyce Smith’s father, Dr. Karon Ray Jennings.
“As soon as he turned 18 he went and volunteered for the navy during our world war II and then after he served his country, he attended auburn university. Yes, I am proud of him and my mother, and everybody that has contributed to our freedom today,” Smith said.
The Veterans Bridge Flag Initiative started in May of 2014 after a man wanted to honor his father.
“And we thought that is a fantastic idea and the veterans bridge flag initiative was born from that gesture Scott McKenzie donated a flag, we created a mayoral proclamation to honor his father and we started making that available to everyone,” said Caroline Johnson, program coordinator.
Anyone can sign up to donate the cost of a flag in honor of a service man or woman. The 30 flags are up for six months and then they are changed. Ones honoring the service men killed in the July 2015 attack are permanent.
“Every time we do raise those flags, we raise five new ones always in honor of the Fallen Five,” Johnson said.
Flags were all installed as the ceremony wrapped up. Smith will think of her father every time she drives across the bridge.
“People can remember him and remember, but remember everybody who has served and given us the liberty and freedom that we have today,” Smith said.
Prior to the Veterans Bridge Flag Initiative, an anonymous donor supplied all the funds annually for ten years to replace each of the flags hanging on the bridge.