County honors fallen military, public service heroes during Memorial Day ceremony
– May 30, 2022
Gwinnett County officials honored four fallen military and public service heroes during the 19th annual Memorial Day ceremony on Monday, May 30 at 1:00pm at the Gwinnett Fallen Heroes Memorial in Lawrenceville.
Three fallen heroes were inducted into to the Fallen Heroes Memorial:
- Logan James Wade, who grew up in Gwinnett County and was employed as an EMT with American Medical Response. Wade was killed in September 2021 while stopping to render aid at a car crash on I-85 while en route to deliver supplies to first responders providing response in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida in Louisiana
- Ronald Donat, a Gwinnett Police recruit who experienced a medical emergency during physical training at the Gwinnett Police Training Center and passed away in October 2021
- Lance Cpl. Jonathan Gierke, a Marine from Lawrenceville who was killed in a military vehicle crash near Camp Lejeune in North Carolina in January 2022
The County also recognized Constantin “Gigi” Bolof, an employee with the Gwinnett Department of Water Resources who was struck and killed while directing vehicles around a construction site at Oak Grove Road and Henderson Lake Drive in September 2021. Bolof was inducted into the memorial in fall 2021 during a private ceremony.
Speakers included District 1 Commissioner Kirkland Carden and District 4 Commissioner Marlene Fosque, as well as District 3 Commissioner Jasper Watkins, who provided the keynote address. Watkins, a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel, served 25 years as an Army pharmacist, five years as chief of the Bureau for Statewide Pharmaceutical Services for the Florida Department of Health, and two years with the Atlanta Veterans Administration Medical Center’s pharmacy. He completed an Army Fellowship in Medication – Use Safety and is the first African American in the armed forces and the state of Florida to achieve board certification with the American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacist Nuclear Pharmacy Residency Program. While in the service, he assisted in the placement of wounded personnel from the September 11 attacks on the Pentagon and helped lead pharmaceutical support for civilians in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and resupply operations immediately after Hurricane Andrew. Among other military decorations and honors, Watkins received the Legion of Merit — the highest peacetime military award — along with the Award of Excellence in Allied Health Care and the Order of Military Medical Merit.
The 2022 Memorial Day ceremony is available to watch on demand.
The Gwinnett Fallen Heroes Memorial, located on the grounds of the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center, 75 Langley Drive in Lawrenceville, honors all Gwinnett residents who died in the line of duty in military or public service. The memorial opened in 2003 and was built with funds from private donations and Gwinnett County Government. For additional information about the memorial, visit GwinnettFallenHeroes.com.