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Seventy-Five Years For Chattanooga’s Armed Forces Day Parade

Retired U.S. Army Gen. B.B. Bell - on the UTC campus.
Angela Foster / UTC
Retired U.S. Army Gen. B.B. Bell - on the UTC campus.

Chattanooga is home to the longest, continuously staged Armed Forces Day Parade in this country.

The military co-chairs for the first parade in 1949: Tennessee’s Alvin York, this nation’s most decorated soldier in World War I - and Charles H. Coolidge, Chattanooga’s own decorated hero in World War II.

This Friday, the 75th annual parade will step off at 10:30 AM from the intersection of Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and Market St., travel down Market Street to West Aquarium Way, turn left and then finish at Chestnut St. - the same route as last fall’s parade for Capt. Larry Taylor, recipient of the Medal of Honor.

The grand marshal for this year’s parade: B.B. Bell, retired four-star U.S. Army General - also the keynote speaker for the luncheon after the parade, starting at Noon at the Chattanooga Convention Center.

I spoke with him - and a fellow alum of this campus: Mickey McCamish, retired U.S. Navy Captain with the Chattanooga Area Veterans Council, which hosts the parade.

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Ray is the host and producer of Scenic Roots, Mondays - Thursdays at 3 PM on WUTC.