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Dorrance man honors vets with memorial
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A veterans memorial at Dorrance, built entirely by donations from local individuals and labor from a handful of community members, is located on a corner of Dorrance City Park. The community is located 5.5 miles west of Wilson and 6.5 miles south of the Minooka campground at Lake Wilson. - photo by Veronica Coons

DORRANCE — in April, 2018, Dorrance mayor and business owner Bob Boatright and a handful of supporters began work on a veterans memorial. It was completed in time for Memorial Day, 2019. Located at the corner of the city’s only park, visitors to Dorrance can’t miss it, he says, as it’s visible from all directions. 

“We look at the reason we are here, and the privileges we have, and we owe them to the veterans,” Boatright said. “They need to be recognized, whether they fought for our freedoms 100 years ago, or in just the last few years.” 

The City of Dorrance donated the land for the memorial, and Nathan Pasek donated flagpoles that fly flags from each of the five military branches: the Army, Navy, Airforce, Marines and Coast Guard, as well as flags representing Prisoners of War and Missing In Action. Each branch is represented with a 5 1/2 foot silhouette, a three rifle tripod and a display honoring the veterans of the Dorrance American Legion. The cost of the project was $12,500.   

While primarily a personal dream of Boatright’s, there was an outpouring of local support. June golf tournaments and February wild game feeds with all proceeds going to the memorial were held. Individual donations were also given. 

While the project is now complete, Boatright is still accepting donations that will go toward additional benches, maintenance and replacement of flags every two years.  

Boatright is owner of the Boathouse Bar & Grill in Dorrance. The business is currently closed in accordance with the statewide shutdown. According to Boatright, it is too small to be able to accommodate enough guests at any one time while maintaining social distancing. He anticipates reopening on June 18. In the meantime, Dorrance welcomes visitors interested in stopping by the memorial on Monday to remember our country’s veterans who sacrificed all for us, he said.