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Artists sought for Chattanooga shootings memorial

Battle crosses for fallen service members are displayed at the memorial service at University of Tennessee Chattanooga's McKenzie Arena in Chattanooga, Tenn., Aug. 15, 2015.

KIMBERLY AGUIRRE/U.S. MARINE CORPS

By ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: March 18, 2017

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — The city of Chattanooga is planning to install a memorial to the five servicemembers killed in a 2015 shooting at a military installation.

City officials on Friday issued a call to artists across the country, kicking off a process that will lead to the installation of a memorial near the Naval Operations Support Center where the shootings occurred.

"One thing that service members want to see is that we don't forget the sacrifice of the Fallen Five," said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Tim White, who was involved in the exchange of gunfire at the naval center that day. "Also, we don't want to forget the sacrifice of the families. Then, we want to remember how Chattanooga came together as a community."

White is a member of the July 16 memorial steering committee launched by Mayor Andy Berke, which aims to raise $750,000 for the project through grants and donations. The plan is to finish the memorial by July 2019.

Organizers expect more than 100 artists to apply for the opportunity to design it, The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported.

Three finalists will be given $5,000 of seed funding to develop a site-specific proposal. A selection committee is expected to choose one of the proposals in October.

Leaders have narrowed the memorial's location to two spots in the Tennessee Riverpark, both just a few hundred yards north of the naval center

Killed in the July 16, 2015 attack were Sgt. Carson A. Holmquist, Gunnery Sgt. Thomas J. Sullivan, Staff Sgt. David A. Wyatt and Lance Cpl. Squire K. "Skip" Wells, all Marines, and Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall J. Smith.

After the attack, Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez was shot to death during a confrontation with Chattanooga police. The FBI said Abdulazeez, a naturalized U.S. citizen, was a homegrown violent extremist.

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