FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sept. 17, 2015
For more information,
Contact: Amanda Shell Jennings
Parade, concert honors memory of shooting victims
Knoxville-based Premier Transportation provided the use of 20 motor coaches to transport 1,000 members of high school bands and JROTC groups from Chattanooga area schools to march in the Chattanooga Unite Armed Forces Parade on Sept. 16.
The parade honored the five servicemen who were killed July 16 when a gunman opened fire at a military recruitment office and U.S. Navy Reserve Center in Chattanooga. The benefit concert raised funds for families of the slain servicemen and other victims of terrorism and mass crimes.
“Premier Transportation is humbled to be able to support this event, which honors the memory of the servicemen and benefits the families of the victims,” said Nate Frederick, chief operating officer for Premier Transportation.
“Most of the schools that wanted to participate in the parade did not have the budget to hire transportation for their students. When we learned about this need, we immediately wanted to be involved and offered as many motor coaches as needed to allow everyone to participate.”
The Armed Forces Parade, which is part of “Chattanooga Unite: A Tribute on the River,” traveled along Broad Street from Martin Luther King Boulevard to Ross’s Landing. The parade ended at the waterfront, where a memorial ceremony emceed by actor and Chattanooga native Samuel L. Jackson, was held, which included a presentation of military colors, tributes, 21-gun salute and presentation of flags to the families of the servicemen.
“Following the events of July 16 when five servicemen were killed, we immediately started talking about what we could do to honor the victims,” said Chip Baker, executive director of Friends of the Festival, which organized Chattanooga Unite. “It started with a small concert, and it became a huge event as more people and companies want to help make this event a success. When we began organizing the parade, it became clear that to get JROTC and the high school bands to the festival would require a lot of assistance.
“Premier enabled us to get the students there to honor the servicemen, and we could not have done it without their help.”
The 20 Premier Transportation motor coaches traveled to Chattanooga from the company’s Knoxville office at 1500 Breda Drive with the company’s leadership and certified technicians on board to provide any needed maintenance. The buses picked up the student marchers at their respective high schools and delivered them to the starting point of the parade. The students were transported back to their schools following the memorial service.
“This is an important event for the Chattanooga community and for our country,” Frederick said. “Premier Transportation is one of the largest motor coach companies in the region, and we are honored to fill this need for transportation.”
The memorial service was followed by a free concert with performances by Harry Connick Jr., Brantley Gilbert, Trace Adkins, Colt Ford and Aaron Lewis at 5:30 p.m. All proceeds from the concert will go to the National Compassion Fund, which provides assistance to families of victims of mass crimes and terrorism.
Premier Transportation has approximately 30 motor coaches throughout its East Tennessee footprint in Knoxville, Greeneville and the Tri-Cities.