Dorchester County unveils Veterans Monument at Memorial Day ceremony

Members of Dorchester County Council unveiled its new Veterans Monument at a Memorial Day ceremony Monday morning in St. George.
Published: May. 29, 2023 at 9:56 AM EDT|Updated: May. 29, 2023 at 9:03 PM EDT

ST. GEORGE, S.C. (WCSC) - Members of Dorchester County Council unveiled its new Veterans Monument at a Memorial Day ceremony Monday morning in St. George.

Dozens of veterans from all different branches showed up to see the unveiling of this monument. Even one veteran, Daniel C. Poling, served in WWII and will be turning 100 years old later this year.

He was asked what he is excited about today.

“Well, about everything,” Poling said. “First time we’ve had it here and I’m really enjoying it.”

The event included a keynote address by retired USMC Capt. Dr. Tom Riddick, of Summerville, who served more than 20 years as an enlisted Marine and a Marine Officer. Riddick’s last command was the University of New Mexico where he served as Marine Officer Instructor and recruiter for the university’s NROTC unit.

In his speech, he talked about what it felt like to serve and also be on the opposite end as a loved one, watching one of kids serve in Afghanistan and the other in Iraq. He says it was hard for him to process how catastrophic events could affect his whole family.

The ceremony included the Posting of Colors by the Honor Guard of the 628th Force Support Squadron of Joint Base Charleston and a Wreath Laying to honor those who have given their lives for their country and for those missing in action.

Dorchester County Councilwoman Harriet Holman brought the idea of this monument to light. She was a personnel officer and retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Army. With talks of relocating a different veterans memorial in Summerville going around, she was asked about those next steps.

“We are just going to make sure that monuments are in both sides - both places in the county and no one is removing a monument, unless a monument is put in another location on the same ground,” Holman said. “Or maybe somewhere different. We are not going to forget our veterans. We’re going to make sure monuments are throughout this county if I have anything to do with it.”

This monument was funded by Brown Memorials for a little over $31,000, according to Dorchester County officials.

The veterans that spoke stressed it is important to speak up for what you believe in, but to remember to thank God for being born in America where that is an option.

“Let’s make Memorial Day what it was intended to be,” Holman said. “A recognition and a time to reflect and remember those ones who have sacrificed all for our country.”

It is one of several events planned for Memorial Day across the Lowcountry.