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                              Chattanooga Unite:  Supporting The Families

                                       Of The Lost Heroes Of Chattanooga


Everyone, I want you to do something for me tonight before you go to sleep.  I want you to take a moment to think about what it would have been like had you grown up without your father.  I'm not kidding.  Find a spot on your bed to sit and truly think about this possibility and the impact it might have had on your life given these circumstances had been real.


For many, including my own children, this exercise is "truth" and an excruciatingly painful one at that.  It's an injustice made worse when that loss is unexpected and, even, preventable.  No doubt, the families of the five servicemen and one police officer who lost their lives, suddenly, to the atrocious attack set forth by Muhammad Abdulazeez this past July in Chattanooga, Tennessee, understand this quite well.  They, now, realize just how incredibly raw, angry, and frightened life can feel like when the unthinkable happens...their lives forever changed in the aftermath of, what can only be described as, sheer evil.     


The road back will be long and hard for these families.  None of the wives or children - all of whom have now been left to survive on their own - will ever be the same again.  I assure you of this.  Every moment will be underscored by fear and heartache for years to come.  


As a community, the least that we can do is to help pave the road for these families -- to make it a little bit easier for them to "find their footing" and, eventually, move forward.  As Americans, we need to help these "loved ones left behind" to become the legacies their husbands, fathers, and heroes stood tall for, just as they stood for the rest of us too.   


On September 16, 2015, Brantley Gilbert, Harry Connick Jr. and Samuel L. Jackson led that "stand."  All three gentleman came together with a host of others to raise money for the families left in the wake of the tragic deaths of Lance Cpl. Squire "Skip" Wells, Gunnery Sgt. Thomas J. Sullivan, Navy Petty Officer Second Class Randall Smith, Sgt. Carson Holmquist, Staff Sgt. David Wyatt, and Officer Dennis Pedigo. Called 

Chattanooga Unite, admission to the concert was free.  However, all of the funds raised at the concert were donated to these six families through the National Compassion Fund.    


If you weren't able to attend the event, you can still stand with Brantley, Harry, and Samuel as well as all of those who did by donating whatever money you can to the National Compassion Fund on behalf of these five servicemen and one police officer.  


It is a call-to-action you can't afford to ignore; one which speaks to our own humanity as a nation and a people built upon the following phrase, "One Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."


Through this concert and like, we begin enacting our kinda JUSTICE -- the kind grounded in conviction and responsibility as oppose to cowardness and irreverence, like the one Mr. Abdulazeez chose to display.    



Harry show

Photo Credit: Chattanooga Unite Official Site

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