Veterans Honored With A Flag Raising Ceremony at Bluff View Sculpture Garden


CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — It’s time for a changing of the flags.
The City of Chattanooga honored Veterans today with a flag raising ceremony in the Bluff View Sculpture Garden and on Veterans Bridge.

“Vigilance is the price of freedom. As you see me silhouetted against the peaceful skies of my country, remind yourself that I am the flag of your country, that I stand for what you are, no more, no less, guard me well, lest your freedom perish from the earth,” said Sgt. Grover Wilson, with the Chattanooga Police Department, reading from a poem by Ruth Apperson Rous.

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The program began with a poem read by police Sgt. Grover Wilson, an Army veteran.

Each of these flags on the Veterans Bridge honors a veteran. Any person or group can purchase a flag to honor a service man or woman . It will hang here on the Veterans Bridge for 6 months. Honorees then receive a proclamation recognizing their service, and the location of their particular flag.

The Chattanooga/Hamilton County Historian, explains why this is so important.

“Each of those flags on the bridge recognizes someone who took time out of their life to serve in our place. You know, and it’s because of that service to this nation that we enjoy the freedoms that we enjoy today,” said Linda Moss-Mines, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Historian.

Mayor Andy Berke read the names and service highlights of the veterans who are being honored today.

“Specialist Floyd served his country with the United States Army in Vietnam from August 1966 until he was killed in action on January 14, 1967,” said Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke.

Many in attendance were there to honor their loved ones.

“His death certainly made our family proud. He gave his life for his country. And we’ve tried to sustain his memory in everything that – in our community that we can possibly get involved with,” said Richard Floyd, who was there to honor his brother, who died in Vietnam.

This ceremony marked the first time that some veterans’ families had heard about the event.

“He was killed in Vietnam. And so, that’s been about 50 years now, and this was the first time I knew of these flags on the veterans bridge that you could use in their honor, and I’m just thrilled to do that,” said Ellen Mock, who was there to honor her brother, who died in Vietnam.

The first of the new flags was raised this morning during the singing of the National Anthem.

(Singing) “. . . bright stars . . .”

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Ashley is a lifetime Chattanooga area resident, and a 1987 graduate from UTC, with a BA in communications. While there, he was commissioned through the ROTC program, served simultaneously in the 1/181st field artillery Tn. Army National Guard, finished Airborne school, was a member of the Scabbard and Blade military honor society and ROTC Rangers, the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, played snare drum with the UTC Marching band, and played in a southern rock band called Southern Atmosphere, while working a full time job as a trainer at the Sports Barn. He also won the Southeastern United States teenage bodybuilding competition during this time. Ashley has been with News 12 Now for 21 years. Prior to working here he was a videographer, director, producer and editor at Falcon Cable TV in Dalton, Ga. for 6 years where he produced thousands of commercials and dozens of hour long features. He also worked as a freelancer and employee at another network affiliate in Chattanooga. He has operated a part time video production business from home for 25 years. He says his passion is telling stories that feature people who give of themselves to help others, and stories that inspire people to make positive changes in themselves and their communities. Ashley is ecstatically married to Debbie Henderson, and has two step sons, a daughter in law, a sister, and lots of aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews, and great nieces and nephews. His parents are celebrating their 60th anniversary this year. Ashley and Debbie are active members of Brainerd Baptist Church. His interests include weight training and cycling with his wife, photography, poetry, playing drums, and checking off items from his extensive honey-do list. If you would like to reach Ashley, email him at