Tragedy Strikes Chattanooga

IMG_0606-PANOToday has been a tough day for those of us who live in and around Chattanooga.  This morning, a gunman went to an Armed Forces recruitment center and opened fire and left the scene to do a similar deed at another military site a few miles away.  The search for the man ended in the early afternoon, and the reports of the aftermath started coming in.  When the dust settled, four Marines lost their lives and the gunman was killed.  One Marine and one Chattanooga Police officer were wounded and taken to a local hospital.

It’s one of those surreal times when you’re watching social media talk about events unfolding just a couple of miles down the road from you.  I know we’ve always talked about being more vigilant after attacks hitting the United States, but, admittedly, in the back of our minds we never would have thought an act of terrorism would have hit the Scenic City.

We have received words of sympathy and encouragement have been coming in all across our nation.  Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), who was Chattanooga’s mayor in the early 2000s, delivered remarks on the floor of the United States Senate about the tragic events that happened.  President Barack Obama offered condolences to the families of the Marines who had fallen in the line of duty and promised a thorough investigation.

Georgia’s congressional delegation also offered words of condolence.  Congressman Tom Graves (R-GA-14), whose district borders Chattanooga, offered this statement:

“My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the Marines who were killed in the horrific attack in Chattanooga today. These Marines perished while serving our country and I know that our community in Northwest Georgia is forever grateful for their sacrifice.”

Congressman Barry Loudermilk (R-GA-11) offered words of support:

“I am deeply saddened and enraged by the attacks on our U.S. servicemen in Chattanooga. My family and I are praying for the families of these brave Marines who lost their lives serving our nation. Initial intelligence reports indicate that ISIS may have been involved in this attack, and the Administration must act swiftly and decisively to protect our citizens and enact justice against those involved in carrying out this cowardly act of evil. An attack on any American is an attack on all of us, and we must remain vigilant in our fight to end this violence.”

Over the next weeks or months, we will learn more about the gunman, Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, and we will learn if ISIS was behind this attack, but today and over the next few days, we will mourn and honor the four Marines who sacrificed themselves for their nation.

This man’s motivation may have been hatred towards us, but this will not hurt our resolve.  We refuse to let the evil act of this man, regardless if he was a “lone wolf” or acting on behalf of ISIS, cause us to fear a faceless entity.

Thank you for the thoughts and prayers for our community and for the families of these fallen Marines.  A deep, heartfelt appreciation and thank you goes to the Chattanooga Police Department and our United States Armed Services…..especially the United States Marine Corps.

18 comments

  1. Charlie says:

    “…but today and over the next few days, we will mourn and honor the four Marines who sacrificed themselves for their nation.”

    Y’all read that over, and over again if necessary, before you decide to leave a comment on this thread.

    BE VERY CAREFUL WHAT YOU DECIDE TO MAKE POLITICAL WHILE FAMILIES ARE STILL IDENTIFYING THEIR DEAD.

  2. Three Jack says:

    Sincerest condolences to the families of these Marines. Semper Fi to all my Marine friends, y’all were always welcomed on the Ike as we floated around the Med.

    There have been far too many attacks on our military installations as pointed out by Rachel Maddow at the opening of her show tonight. Ironically as the result of a law passed in 1992, signed by Clinton in 1993, most military installations have anti-carry regulations including recruiting offices. After appropriate time is allowed for the families to grieve, I hope Congress will take another look at this law.

  3. xdog says:

    Condolences to the families and comrades of the slain Marines and hopes for the recovery of the critically injured sailor who survived the attack.

  4. Noway says:

    Why the need for a posting “warning”, Charlie? The families are already devastated and grieving. Our hearts are breaking, also. We can’t speculate on the particulars about the piece of trash’s motivation, after all four of our servicemen have been slaughtered? I think this is the absolute perfect time for us to discuss this outrage! However, your blog, your rules. But nothing, absolutely nothing that will be posted by our regular posters will be disrespectful to the families of the murdered.

  5. Noway says:

    Has there been any more info on the Tweet posted the day before that mentioned “Chattanooga?”

  6. Max Power says:

    As someone who works everyday in Chattanooga I want to make a comment about this town. 99% of the people I deal with regularly were far more concerned with the victims than trying to cast blame on any group or community. Yesterday my facebook feed was filled with conspiracy theories and the blame game but not from Chattanoogans, they were posting pray for chattanooga, chattstrong, and urging folks to donate blood. I think that says a lot about the character of the city.

    • Lawton Sack says:

      Skip Wells previously attended Georgia Southern University. From Georgia Southern:

      “The entire Georgia Southern University community is saddened by the news that former student and Marine Skip Wells was killed yesterday in the Chattanooga tragedy along with three fellow Marines. Skip was enrolled as a student from 2012 through fall of 2013.

      The Eagle Nation offers our deepest condolences to his family and the families of those killed and wounded during this incident.”

  7. MattMD says:

    Well, I am about to leave for Lake Allatoona this weekend but I will be keeping the families of these murdered Marines in my thoughts all week. I am really getting tired of this.

  8. Charlie says:

    WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today released the following statement regarding the shooting deaths of four U.S. Marines in Chattanooga, Tenn., on July 16, 2015. One of the Marines killed was identified by his family as 21-year-old Skip Wells, a 2012 graduate of Sprayberry High School in Marietta, Ga.

    “My prayers and deepest condolences go out to the grieving community of Chattanooga. I join Georgians in shock and outrage at the loss of four U.S. Marines, including Skip Wells, a graduate of Sprayberry High School in my hometown. I extend my sympathies to his family and friends, and I assure them that I remain committed to doing everything necessary to fight and end terrorism at home and abroad.”

  9. Dr. Monica Henson says:

    First of all, I am sending prayers and condolences to all affected by the tragedy in Chattanooga.

    Second, I’d like to point out, in light of all the Southerner-bashing I see on the interwebs since the SC Confederate flag controversy first erupted following the Charleston shootings:

    There was no rioting or looting in Charleston. The families of the victims went to the jailhouse and gave public forgiveness to the shooter. Three of the SC state leaders locked arms and forced the legislature to take down the flag, then proceeded to hold a dignified and respectful ceremony to do exactly that (well, dignified & respectful except for the yahoos who started singing “Na Na Na Na, Hey Hey, Goodbye” at the end).

    Likewise, there have been no reported attacks on Muslims, rioting, or looting in Chattanooga. The only untoward thing I’ve seen with regard to Chattanooga isn’t coming from Tennesseans, but from these idiots: http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/local/story/2015/jul/18/westboro-baptist-reportedly-planning-protest-funerals-slain-servicemen/315299/.

    The rest of this country should take a good, long, hard look at how we handle tragedies of these types in the contemporary South.

  10. Three Jack says:

    The mother of Skip Wells just appeared on Hannity. It was noted that she has not heard from the president. Not sure if he has time to personally express condolences in this unique situation, but it would seem appropriate for any commander-in-chief to at least call the victims families if not appear in person.

    Memorial service tomorrow, 7pm at Sprayberry for Skip Wells.

  11. saltycracker says:

    Press has asked WH why they haven’t flow the flag at half staff. They haven’t contacted the soldiers families nor has Obama spoke, In response to suggestions of arming the soldiers as they are sitting ducks, the DOD has suggested they are considering no uniforms at recruitment centers so they won’t be targeted and private citizens have offered to carry their guns and protect them.

    This, particularly the non-uniform consideration, has gotten a very unpleasant response from soldiers. It is outrageous. This is caving to the terrorists.

    Then there is Obamas non-reaction to the California murder by the illegal.

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