Hundreds of community members lined Market Street to celebrate and honor Captain Larry Taylor, a Chattanoogan who is the latest recipient of the Medal of Honor.
On behalf of the City of Chattanooga, Mayor Tim Kelly would like to thank the community for an overwhelming show of patriotism and pride during Monday’s Welcome Home Parade for Captain Larry Taylor. Captain Taylor is a Chattanoogan and the latest recipient of the Medal of Honor, the military’s highest distinction.
“There is no one I can think of who is as deserving of being awarded the Medal of Honor as Captain Taylor is. This distinction was a longtime coming. Out of more than 3,500 Medal of Honor recipients, there are only about 65 still with us today, so Monday’s parade was a special opportunity to honor someone with a distinct sense of valor and bravery, yet someone who carries that with a unique humility,” said Mayor Tim Kelly. “I first met Captain Taylor through my time in the car business, and yet I had no idea just how much of a true hero he was until we all found out he was being recognized for his actions. It seems we are constantly told that the prevailing characteristic of our present time is rancorous political divisiveness. But seeing everyone who showed up to celebrate him reminds me of just how proud and patriotic a city Chattanooga is, and that the values that bring us together are far stronger than the ones that try to tear us apart.”
(from left to right) Capt. Taylor’s Wife Toni Taylor, Capt. Larry Taylor, Chattanooga First Lady Ginny Kelly, and Mayor Tim Kelly.
More on Chattanooga’s History with The Medal of Honor:
The first Medal of Honor recipient was Private Jacob Parrott, who earned the distinction for his part in “The Great Locomotive Chase,” a military raid which ended in Northern Georgia, just outside of Chattanooga. Within just two years of its inception, the Medal of Honor was awarded to more than 50 military members that had fought in or originated from Chattanooga.
These early military actions gave Chattanooga the distinction of being the birthplace of the Medal of Honor, and our city was later chosen as the home of the National Medal of Honor Hall of Valor Museum of Military History. That is now known as the Charles H. Coolidge National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, named after Sergeant Charles H. Coolidge, a World War II Army Veteran and another Medal of Honor recipient from Chattanooga. One of our city’s most prized landmarks, Coolidge Park, was designed in the shape of the Medal of Honor, another reminder that our community’s deep sense of historical appreciation is baked into our city’s infrastructure.
Chattanooga is now home to six Medal of Honor recipients: Captain Taylor, Sergeant Coolidge, and Corporal Desmond Doss, an Army medic who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his distinguished actions in the battle of Okinawa.