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East Point vet honored with street topper
by Noreen Cochran
August 20, 2014 10:48 AM | 2109 views | 2 2 comments | 35 35 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Noreen Cochran. From left, East Point City Councilwoman Nanette Saucier, family member Alex Boatright and City Councilman Alexander Gothard celebrate a new street topper at 8th Street and Washington Avenue honoring Navy veteran Jack Boatright.
Staff / Noreen Cochran. From left, East Point City Councilwoman Nanette Saucier, family member Alex Boatright and City Councilman Alexander Gothard celebrate a new street topper at 8th Street and Washington Avenue honoring Navy veteran Jack Boatright.
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Jack Robert Boatright, East Point’s first World War II casualty, will be remembered every time someone sees a street sign on the lane where he used to live.

Last week city officials erected a sign topper on 8th Street at Washington Avenue, a few yards from No. 2972, where he grew up.

At-Large City Councilwoman Nanette Saucier read Amore’s poem “Anchors Aweigh,” based on an account by East Point Historical Society secretary Charles W. Strickland.

It narrated how Boatright, born in 1917, enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1937 and died at the age of 25 when his ship, the USS Juneau, sank during the 1942 Battle of Guadalcanal.

“‘A heart of bravery was that of Jack…who served our nation with pride and dignity in every way,”’ Saucier read.

Saucier said the cooperation of several departments and family members enabled the city to honor Boatright.

“This has been a long coming and I’m so happy to see this day,” she said. “East Point visitors and residents will always be able to remember Jack Boatright because now we have a sign in his honor.”

City Councilman Alexander Gothard, in whose ward the intersection lies, said it was a fitting tribute.

“We’re definitely honored to be able to place a topper on this street in honor of your brother,” he said to Boatright’s youngest brother, Alex.

Alex Boatright said after the ceremony he had campaigned to get the street name changed.

“That didn’t work out,” the 80-year-old said.

Then Saucier suggested the topper.

“Once I got to thinking about that, I thought that might be better to do that than rename it Jack Boatright Street,” Alex Boatright said.

It would inspire other military families to seek similar markers, he said.

“They won’t have to go through all of the trouble you would have to go through trying to get the street renamed,” Alex Boatright said. “Believe me, there’s a lot of trouble you have to go through.”

The Chattahoochee Hills resident said a 16-year gap separated the two brothers, but he treasured the childhood memory of the sailor teaching him to make a paper airplane while home on leave.

“From what I’ve heard about him, he’s everything that I would like to be – well-known, well-liked, athletic,” Alex Boatright said about the Russell High School football player.

Comments
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a non
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August 21, 2014
It would be nice if the city would also honor other East Pointers who have lost their lives in battle by restoring and protecting the Victory Park memorials. Even though the park is across the street from the central police station it is continually vandalized and sits neglected and in disrepair along with their city hall, city library and theater.
Alex Boatright
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August 23, 2014
I agree, a great spot would be the public park on main street in East Point. If the Victory Park Memorial was there, it would be seen by the public and also by people who frequent the public park during lunch break.

Alex Boatright
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