The Coolidge National Medal of Honor Heritage Center (Heritage Center) announced today they are working with Hamilton County, the City of Chattanooga and the Chattanooga Area Veterans Council to hold a special Patriot Day and “Welcome Home” Parade to honor Army Captain Larry L. Taylor, a native of the city and an American war hero. The parade will officially start at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, September 11, and will conclude with a public ceremony at 1 p.m. where local, state and national dignitaries will make comments honoring Larry Taylor and his heroic act of valor on June 18, 1968, during the Vietnam War.

“Chattanooga is the Birthplace of the Medal of Honor, and I encourage everyone to bring their children downtown on September 11 and line Market Street to help celebrate this important heritage and honor Larry Taylor as a true American hero for his incredible act of valor on June 18, 1968, that saved four lives,” said General BB Bell, chairman of the National Advisory Board at the Coolidge National Medal of Honor Heritage Center.

Chattanooga Mayor Kelly said, “What a privilege to have in our midst one of America’s living heroes worthy of the highest award for military valor in action. Let’s come together to celebrate and recognize one of our own and put Chattanooga’s famous spirit of patriotism on full display as we honor Captain Larry Taylor on September 11th.”

Hamilton County Mayor Weston Wamp continued, “I am humbled to serve as County Mayor as we welcome home the county’s first recipient of the highest military of valor award in more than seven decades. There is no greater role model to represent the values of Hamilton County than legendary Vietnam veteran Larry Taylor, whose valor as a Cobra pilot is finally being appropriately recognized. All residents of Hamilton County should take great pride in sharing this once-in-a-lifetime celebration with our hometown hero.”

The parade will officially kick-off with a special flyover of multiple Vietnam-era Cobra and modern-day Apache Helicopters who will fly over the parade route in downtown Chattanooga. Taylor will lead the parade as the grand marshal with the U.S. Army’s 1st Infantry Division Mounted Color Guard and Band from Fort Riley, Kansas. The parade will start at the intersection of MLK Boulevard and Market Street. The public is invited to line Market Street, and continue from Market down to W. Aquarium Way, which is where the parade will make a left turn toward the Coolidge National Medal of Honor Heritage Center at the Aquarium Plaza.

Brig. Gen. Niave Knell, the 1st Infantry Division Deputy Commanding General for Support, and Command Sgt. Maj. Clarence B. Raby, 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley Command Sergeant Major, will attend the parade to honor Taylor with community and state leaders. In addition, Medal of Honor Recipient Leroy Petry – representing the Congressional Medal of Honor Society – will be attending the parade and speaking at the ceremony. Other dignitaries who will be speaking at the ceremony include Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly, Hamilton County Mayor Weston Wamp and General BB Bell, who serves as the chairman of the National Advisory Board for the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center.

Leading the parade down Market Street will be the Commanding General’s Mounted Color Guard that will represent Fort Riley and the U.S. Army in a highly professional and polished display of cavalry horsemanship and military tradition. These men and women portray the U.S. Cavalry as they appeared in the mid to late 19th century. Following the Mounted Color Guard will be the 1st Infantry Division Band, which is the musical ambassador for the United States’ premier fighting force. The Big Red One Band represents the 1st Infantry Division for military ceremonies and the communities that support the American Soldier.

The parade will also feature a variety of high school bands and JROTC units from schools located throughout Hamilton County and the surrounding community. In addition, ROTC units from universities throughout the region will be marching in the parade alongside various veteran organizations representing all branches of the military and varying conflicts from the Vietnam War to the War on Terror. For additional information on submitting a parade entry, interested parties should contact Bill Norton by email at [email protected].

At approximately 1 p.m., the parade will conclude with an official ceremony at the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center. The public is encouraged to attend the ceremony where local, state and national dignitaries will make remarks to honor Taylor. The ceremony should conclude no later than 2 p.m., with a closed media briefing with all dignitaries to be held after the ceremony concludes. The media who plan to cover the parade and public ceremony are encouraged to register their attendance for the event by contacting Mary Francis Hoots at [email protected].

The public is invited to visit the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center and learn more about Captain Larry L. Taylor and other Medal of Honor recipients associated with the region as well as explore why Chattanooga is known as the birthplace of the Medal of Honor.