“Throughout history our Sailors and Marines have
served overseas, in harm’s way, and the men and
women of the Navy and Marine Corps have experi-
enced the deep and lasting pain of combat loss. Today,
here at home, we once again feel that pain,” Navy
Secretary Ray Mabus said in a statement released by
the Navy following the shootings. “While we expect
our Sailors and Marines to go into harm’s way, and they
do so without hesitation, an attack at home, in our
community, is insidious and unfathomable.”
Marine Sgt DeMonte Cheeley was wounded in the
attack on the recruitment center. Chattanooga Police
officer Dennis Pedigo was injured while responding to
the shooting at the Navy Operational Support Center.
Amanda donated the remaining $50 she raised from
the lemonade sales to Pedigo, who was shot in the
ankle during the police gun battle with Abdulazeez
and faces the likelihood of a long recovery. She met
Pedigo on July 30 to give him a check with a personal
letter wishing him to feel better, and let him know he
was in her prayers and was her hero, according to a
report from Chattanooga’s WRCB.
For her selfless acts in honoring the victims of the
attack, Galante made Amanda an honorary member of
the Greater Chattanooga Area/John J. Spittler Council
and gave her a Chattanooga Navy League challenge
coin and ball cap.
“Because of your thoughtfulness, your hard work,
your generosity and your patriotism, the Chattanooga
Navy League is going to make you an honorary mem-
ber of the Navy League.” Galante said,
In addition, WDEF gave Amanda $500 as the win-
ner of their “Do the Right Thing” contest.
Amanda and her family — father Gary, mother Gwen
and brothers Ryan and Kyle — joined the Chattanooga
Council when it held a memorial service with Council
Chaplain Father Frank Brett aboard the riverboat
Southern Belle on Aug. 20.
Amanda cast a rose into the waters of the Tennessee
River, as did the rest of her family and dozens of Navy
League members who attended the cruise in honor of the
fallen, Galante said. Brett conducted the memorial service as the riverboat remained motionless alongside the
Navy Operational Support Center.
Chattanooga citizens from every walk of life constructed makeshift memorials outside the Recruiting
Center and the Navy Operational Support Center after
the shootings, according to Galante. The memorials
grew daily, with crowds visiting them in tribute to the
victims and their families.
Eventually, thousands of U.S. flags, crosses and
many other memorial tributes were placed at these
sites. Everybody wanted to do something to honor the
fallen, he said.
The memorials remained for a month after the
shootings, when they were removed by the Daughters
of the American Revolution for later use and a permanent memorial was erected, Galante said.
The 65-foot, 100-ton concrete-and-metal piece entitled “Anchors” by Vermont artist Peter Lundberg was
lifted at Montague Park’s Sculpture Fields on Sept. 1,
according to a Navy News Service report. The ceremony was attended by a crowd of service members, police
and city officials. ■
Amanda Giovengo, her family and Navy League members
cast roses into the waters of the Tennessee River near the
Navy Operational Support Center during the Greater
Chattanooga Area/John J. Spittler Council’s Aug. 20 memorial service to honor of the fallen of the July 16 shootings.
One of several makeshift memorials stands outside of the
Armed Forces Recruiting Center in Chattanooga, Tenn.,
Aug. 13 honoring the Marines and Sailor who were killed
July 16. The memorials grew daily, with crowds visiting
them in tribute to the victims and their families. Eventually,
thousands of U.S. flags, crosses and many other memorial tributes were placed at the sites.