Gatlinburg – April, 16th 2011 – Pick up some small American flags to wave, gather up the kids and head downtown to watch the fourth annualMountain Man Memorial March. This year the 26.2 mile march will be held on April 16 and it is expected to be bigger than ever.
The event will begin at 9 a.m. in downtown Gatlinburg and continue up Highway 321 to the Pittman Center, just minutes from our Gatlinburg Cabins.Participating in this grueling course are active and retired service members, as well as civilians. They will travel over a variety of surfaces, including highway, rural roads, mountain slopes and rugged terrain. While the march stems from the Bataan Memorial March held in White Sands, N.M. each year, it is held locally to honor 1st Lt. Frank Walkup. The young lieutenant was killed in the line of duty in Iraq back in 2007.
This tradition was started by the UT Army ROTC and now brings thousands of people to Gatlinburgeach year toeither participate in or watch the event. The motto of the march, “Support the future, honor the past”, is meant tohonor those that have sacrificed so much for and continue to give their life for our great country. In addition to thewalk itself you can enjoy the opening festivities held the evening before at Ripley’s Aquarium to honor EastTennessee Gold Star Mothers.
On the day of the event you will notice a group of motorcycle riders traveling with the marchers. These aremembers of the Road March for Warriors, the liason group for the Gold Star Mothers and the University ofTennessee Rocky Top Battalion. Whether you have a family member or friend in the military, or simply want toshow your support, you will not want to miss out on this revered Gatlinburg event. Need directions downtown or suggestions on where to park? Don’t hesitate to contact us at the main office by phone or email.