CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (WDEF) – Today Chattanooga celebrates the life of Charles H. Coolidge and says goodbye to one of the last surviving Medal of Honor recipients from World War II.
Chattanoogan Charles Coolidge, died at the age of 99. On Friday, April 16th he was laid to rest at the Chattanooga National Cemetery.
Charles H. Coolidge, a decorated war hero, received several honors including the Silver Star for his bravery during combat in Italy and the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during World War II.
“He left a legacy of service and sacrifice. He lived a life of honor, both before and after he received the Medal of Honor,” says Charles H. Coolidge Jr, Charles H. Coolidge’s Son.
Patriotism was beaming as community members and first responders stood outside the Chattanooga National Cemetery with their flags held high welcoming the esteemed Technical Sergeant Charles Coolidge to his final resting place.
“We have learned that Coolidge is a very important name around here. He was a true American hero and he needs to be remembered. It’s important I want my daughter to know American history. You can feel patriotism here. It’s an emotion. It’s a loyalty and a love for your country that you are not ashamed of,” says Melissa Whitaker, who brought her young daughters to honor Coolidge.
Charles Coolidge had a love for his country and for our city. He was often called the “son of Chattanooga.”
Not only did Charles Coolidge leave behind a legacy for our Armed Forces but he also left his forever mark on Chattanooga.
“Here in Hamilton County and Chattanooga he was always involved and committed to the community-as you go out and see different things that are named after him such as Coolidge park and streets. It exhibits what an outstanding character he had and how active he was in our community. He will be greatly missed. It’s a bittersweet day today although he lived to be 99 years old. It’s still hard to give him up,” says Mayor Jim Coppinger, Hamilton County.
“We all loved you as you loved us. We will miss you. You were the best father a son could have. We were blessed in this world. You made the world better and much better,” says Charles H. Coolidge Jr.
Our City, our state and our nation have lost a Great American hero.
The sacrifices he made for our country will not be forgotten.