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Colleton soldier honored in Monday’s Memorial Day ceremony

A fallen Colleton County soldier was honored on Monday during the city’s annual Memorial Day remembrance ceremony. Sgt. First-Class Alvin A. Boatwright died in defense of our freedom during the Global War on Terrorism. Boatwright was a soldier with the U.S. Army and was from Lodge. He was 33- years old when he was killed in a vehicle rollover on patrol in a province of Afghanistan. He joined the U.S. Army in 1998. Boatwright is the only name featured on the War on Terrorism Memorial.
“The ceremony meant a lot. As a family, we are honored that Colleton County would take the time to honor him,” said his widow, Julie Boatwright. “This is his home, and this is where we buried him. He and I never had that conversation, about where he wanted to be buried. But I knew this was home for him and this is what he would want,” she said.
“The community has always acted as a family to him and his Boatwright family. I am deeply honored.”
Boatwright and his family were honored on Monday morning as part of the Memorial Day holiday and also as part of the new Global War on Terrorism War Memorial. The memorial has been added to the existing war memorials, which are located in the downtown waterfall plaza along East Washington Street in Walterboro. The new memorial is sponsored by the Colleton County Veterans Council, the non-profit organization that has raised funds to purchase the new memorial. “We had a good crowd. Everybody was really impacted by this and we couldn’t have asked for nothing better,” said Johnny Holmes, chairman of the Colleton County Veterans Council. The local Veterans Council fundraised and paid nearly $2,000 for the public memorial that honors Boatwright. The council did originally seek additional names of Colleton County soldiers who died fighting against terrorism; however, Boatwright’s name has thus far been the only name submitted to the council. “Monday’s ceremony, it was warm, but thank God we are still here to feel that heat. The same can’t be said for those we are honoring,” said Holmes. “The families were in place for the unveiling. That is what matters most,” he said.
Boatwright’s family came from Texas for Monday’s memorial service. Many of his fellow soldiers also traveled to Walterboro on Monday from across the nation. His parents also attended Monday’s memorial. They still reside in Lodge. The unveiling of Boatwright’s monument came after a keynote speech, delivered by U.S. Army Major General Roy Van McCarty. The 9 a.m. program also included the presentation of colors by the NJROTC from Colleton County High School, the Pledge of Allegiance led by Girl Scout Troops #4202, #4203 and #4210 and a patriotic medley performed by the Colleton County High School Chorus.
“Now, the Colleton County Veterans Council is focusing on raising money to build a new Veterans Park. This memorial park will be built at the Tuskegee Airmen Monument, which is located near the campus of the Lowcountry Regional Airport. It will honor all veterans from Colleton County,” said Holmes.
For additional information on the Veterans Council’s efforts or the new park, contact Holmes at 843-908-2123.

Heather Walters (1489 Posts)