Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, September 24, 2021

Retired Maj. Gen. Raines receives 2021 Liberty Bell Award


A patriot descended from a Revolutionary War patriot who moved to Bledsoe County in the early days of Tennessee is the 2021 recipient of the Chattanooga Bar Association’s Liberty Bell Award.

The award recognizes community service that has strengthened the American system of freedom under the Rule of Law.

Maj. Gen. Bill Raines was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1968 at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he graduated with a degree in engineering.

With 32 years of military service, both on active duty and in the U.S. Army Reserve, Raines left his mark in leadership roles in Vietnam, Okinawa, Japan, Fort Bliss, Texas, Fort Campbell, Kentucky and elsewhere.

Raines returned to active duty during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm as commander of Chattanooga’s 3397th USAR Garrison at Fort Campbell from August 1990 to September 1991.

“Had he truly retired on April 15, 2000, when he mustered out of military service as a major general, he would still be worthy of our praise,” said Linda Moss Mines, Chattanooga and Hamilton County historian, while announcing Raines as the recipient of the award during the CBA’s annual Law Day celebration on Sept. 15 at The Read House. “However, retirement was not his goal.”

Even as the sole owner and CEO of The Raines Group, a commercial real estate management, leasing and brokerage company in Chattanooga, Raines still found time to lead various business organizations and civic groups like the Chattanooga Area Veterans Council and others.

“Ten years ago, Raines’ belief in the importance of educating young American citizens about the history of this nation, the beauty of our Constitution and the character traits shared by our nation’s greatest military heroes convinced me to join him on the board of the Coolidge National Medal of Honor Heritage Center,” Mines continued.

The dream of a new facility of expanded educational services is now a reality, primary due to Raines’ leadership as chairman, declared Mines in her remarks.

Five years ago, Mines persuaded Raines to accept a ten-year Department of Defense appointment as co-chair with her of the 50th Anniversary Vietnam Commemoration Program.

“He quipped he might not have 10 good years left, and I laughed,” Mines said. “His energy is boundless and his vision of this nation’s place in history and founding ideals of liberty, equality and justice are clear.”

In five years, the program has recognized and honored more than 10,000 Tennessee Valley Vietnam veterans for their service and welcomed them home 50 years after serving in-country.

“Service, commitment, courage, sacrifice, patriotism and citizenship – those traits describe my friend.”

Raines, who attended the Law Day celebration virtually, expressed humility and thanked the CBA for the honor.

Source: Linda Moss Mines; Chattanooga Bar Association