#NoogaStrong Moving forward

CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee(WDEF) – Now that Chattanooga has become the latest city to deal with mass murder at the hands of a lone gunman, moving beyond the tragedy is the next step.

It’s been one week since Mohammed Abdulazeez went on a killing spree inside a Chattanooga military training center on Amnicola Highway. Since that time, the city has been in mourning for the five servicemen who were murdered.

That deadly attack by Abdulazeez will go down as the one of the darkest moments in Chattanooga’s history.

Mayor Andy Beke told WDEF the city will move forward but never forget the pain that was inflicted by Abdulazeez.

"Our city is too strong to be ripped apart by someone like him. In fact, what I think you’ve seen is that people are coming together. We know we can heal together as a community and that is what Chattanooga Strong means," Berke said.

But how does that happen? WDEF spoke to Retired Army General Robert William Cone. He was the commander at Fort Hood when U.S. Army Major and Psychiatrist, Nidal Malik Hasan went on a shooting spree that left 13 people dead and more than 30 injured.

The retired general helped the Army base and the surrounding community move beyond that event. Cone said three things need to happen for Chattanooga to move forward from a similar tragedy.

  • Reestablishing normal conditions.

"A large part of that has to do with the feeling that you are safe; in terms of the government and local police showing they are in charge and in control," Cone said.

  • Finding a way to channel community involvement.

"Everybody wants to do something. The trick of it is to find a way to structure that so people affected by this can truly see that nature of support they have in the local community," Cone said.

  • Reaching out to people who have struggled with violence and mental illness.

"Don’t assume this is just limited to first responders and families of the deceased; but to reach out in a broader sense through survey mechanisms and hotlines to see who is affected and bothered by this."

The retired general told WDEF he saw similarities between the shooting in Fort Hood and last Thursday’s shooting in Chattanooga.

"Both incidents involved self radicalized perpetrators who focused on military targets," Cone said.

The Fort Hood tragedy took a long time for people to get over, and what happened in Chattanooga is also expected to be a long and uneasy process of moving forward.

Categories: Chattanooga, Local News

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