Chattanooga, Where Heroes Fell

On Monday I said I would update my blog later in the week. This is not the update I planned on. Thursday morning at 10:45, I was encouraging my son to get his shoes on because we had errands to run. Thirty minutes to the South, a man in a silver convertible was firing shots and killing people.

flag at half mastYesterday in Chattanooga a 24 year old man, named Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez, killed four Marines and injured three others in what is being called an act domestic terror. This young man grew up in Chattanooga. He went to school in Chattanooga from primary school through University. He graduated from the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga just three years ago with a degree in electrical engineering.

My errands kept me local but this is still right in my back yard. As I was buckling my son’s seat belt, this man was driving down the road in his ford mustang and firing shots into a recruitment center. As I was waiting for a red light to change and laughing at something my son said, four United States Marines lost their lives at the Naval Reserve Center.

Right now a Marine Recruiter has a bullet wound in his leg while four of his brothers lie in marinesbody bags. A Chattanooga Police officer is recovering from surgery and a Navy Sailor is fighting for his life. This happened on American soil. This happened in the heart of the South.

I am deeply saddened and my own heart is broken for the families of these brave people. When you sign up for military service, you are essentially writing a blank check to your government. You never expect that check to be cashed at home. I have cousins who are Marines. I have Navy Sailors as relatives and friends. My grandfather and my Uncle served in the Army. My ex-husband was in the Air Force and so were his parents.

Americans died and Americans were wounded here on American soil. These are People who stood up when the questions were asked: “Who will defend our country? Who will give their all for their fellow Americans? Who will serve? Who will protect?”

Brothers, Fathers, Sons,….Americans. These are members of our extended family even though we may never have met them. These are our Heroes. Today I mourn our fallen heroes.

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