Thursday, September 17, 2015
– Brantley Gilbert paid homage to five murdered military members yesterday during Chattanooga Unite: A Tribute on the River" before 80,000 people.
Trace Adkins, Colt Ford, Aaron Lewis, Jamey Johnson and Harry Connick Jr. also participated in the concert to remember the five, who were killed in July by Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, who shot people at two military installations in Chattanooga, Tenn.
The concert included the families of U.S. Marine Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan, U.S Marine Staff Sgt. David Wyatt, U.S. Marine Sgt. Carson Holmquist, U.S. Marine Lance Corporal Skip Wells and U.S. Navy Petty Officer Randall Smith.
Gilbert closed the day-long event with number one hits like "Country Must Be Country Wide," "Bottoms Up" and "One Hell of an Amen."
Last month, Gilbert announced the special concert on-air with local radio station WUSY.
"We all know why we're here. We're here to mourn and we're here to grieve but we're also here to celebrate the lives and the legacies of those we lost," Gilbert began from the two-story tall Riverbend stage. "We can't bring your husbands, brothers or sons back, but hopefully we can make you smile tonight," directing his thank you to the families of the fallen soldiers.
The tribute kicked off with an Armed Forces parade, memorial ceremony and remembrance followed by a Blue Angels flyover. Chattanooga native and actor Samuel L. Jackson emceed the event.
Donations from the free event will be added to the initial $230,000 presented to The National Compassion Fund yesterday. The families of the five fallen soldiers will benefit from the Chattanooga Unite funds raised. Donations are still being taken via http://www.chattanoogaunite.org.