For a second day, James Brennan is holding the American flag as he stands on an overpass above the West Virginia Turnpike in Mercer County. Brennan is being joined by others off and on throughout the day on Tuesday, July 21, 2015. He said he is planning to stay on the Eads Mill Road overpass for five days. One day for each of the servicemen who were killed in Chattanooga, TN on Thursday, July 16.
Meanwhile, President Obama has ordered flags at the White House and at all federal buildings in the country lowered to half staff in remembrance of the four marines and the Navy sailor who were killed in the shooting rampage.
A Mercer County veteran is paying tribute to the four marines and sailor killed in an attack in Chattanooga, Tennessee on July 16, 2015. If you were driving on Interstate 77 near the Athens exit in Mercer County on Monday July 20, 2015, you may have spotted James Brennan waving the American Flag. Brennan said people have been honking their horns as they pass by. Brennan said he hopes to be there for five days for the five who were killed. He said many people have stopped by offering him drinks and even brought him food.
Brennan said, “We got to stand up. If we don’t stand up our country, it’s going to be taken over from within. People are welcome to come join me or but I’d really like to see the governor candidates come out and take time out of their making money to come stand with me.”
Brennan said he was angry when he heard about the tragedy in Tennessee. He said he feels for the families. Brennan said he will be there from eight in the morning until sunset.
A veteran stands a lone watch on the Eads Mill overpass above I-77 on July 20, 2015. He holds a flag for all who are driving the interstate to see, standing a watch to honor four marines and a U.S. Navy sailor who were gunned down in Chattanooga, TN on Thursday, July 16, 2015.
The U.S. Marine Corps released the following statement regarding the incident in Tennessee:
“It is with deep regret and heartfelt sorrow that the Marine Corps can officially confirm that the following Marines were killed on July 16, 2015, at the combined Navy and Marine Corps Reserve Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee:
Gunnery Sgt. Thomas J. Sullivan (USMC) of Hampden, Massachusetts Staff Sgt. David A. Wyatt (USMC) of Burke, North Carolina Sgt. Carson A. Holmquist (USMC) of Polk, Wisconsin Lance Cpl. Squire K. Wells (USMCR) of Cobb, Georgia
Our priorities are focused on supporting the families of our Marines involved and assisting federal investigators.
The incident has not changed the Marine Corps’ resolve to maintain a presence in our communities. Our reserve centers will remain open, and continue with the mission of augmenting and reinforcing the active component Marine Corps with trained units and individual Marines.
Marine Corps Recruiting Command will also remain engaged in local communities, focused on accomplishing the critical mission of finding qualified men and women to serve as United States Marines.”
Chief of Naval Reserve, VADM Robin Braun issued this statement about the death LS2 Randall Smith, who passed away on Saturday, July 18, 2015
“The entire Navy Reserve Force is deeply saddened at the passing of LS2 Randall S. Smith. He was a dedicated Sailor who cared deeply about his family, his community, and his country. His service and, indeed, his life will remain an inspiration for his Shipmates and all who were fortunate enough to have known him.”
“My heart goes out to his wife Angie and their daughters Lyla, Eila, and Kyla as well as the other members of his family. I hope they are able to find comfort in the knowledge that so many are keeping them in their thoughts and prayers and that LS2 Smith so faithfully and honorably served his country.”
“Our thoughts are also with the entire Chattanooga community, and I want to thank the first responders and law enforcement community during this very difficult time.”