Tarr and Senate to Rename Salisbury State Reservation to Honor Local Hero & Veteran

Tuesday April 02, 2024

State Senator Bruce Tarr celebrates with Robert ‘Boots’ Chouinard (right) at his 100th Birthday celebration at the Salisbury Senior Center in Salisbury, MA this past December 2023. Photo courtesy of Kristin McDonald

Tarr and Senate to Rename Salisbury State Reservation to Honor Local Hero & Veteran
SALISBURY – On March 14, 2024, the State Senate approved the legislation SB.2701, An Act relative to changing the name of the Salisbury Beach State Reservation filed by Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester). This legislation aims to designate Salisbury Beach State Reservation as “Robert ‘Boots’ Chouinard State Reservation at Salisbury Beach. This follows a request by the town of Salisbury’s Board of Selectmen that occurred at the Board of Selectmen Meeting in April of 2022 to name the SBSR in memory of local hero ‘Boots.’
“The remarkable life of ‘Boots’ Chouinard is filled with examples of patriotism, hard work, sacrifice, and unyielding dedication to country and community,” said Tarr. “‘Boots’ is not only a local icon, but a person whose story reflects the story of America itself. Naming the reservation on his behalf will remind residents and visitors alike of his continuing example and inspiration.”
“A fine writer and a spirited presence in the community, Robert ‘Boots’ Chouinard is a living inspiration to everyone in the First Essex,” said State Representative Dawn Shand (D-Newburyport).
“The Salisbury Board of Selectman unanimously voted to request that the Massachusetts legislators designate Salisbury Beach State Reservation as Robert “Boots” Chouinard State Reservation at Salisbury Beach to honor our local hero,” said Ronalee Ray-Parrott, the Chair of the Salisbury Board of Selectmen. “‘Boots’ Chouinard has influenced generations of Salisbury residents. As a long time, Salisbury Beach State Reservation lifeguard, local schoolteacher, newspaper writer, but most importantly World War II hero, he has left a mark on our town history. His acts of bravery and sacrifice serve as a testament to ‘Boots’ Chouinard’s character and remain an inspiration to us all.”
100-year-old local hero Robert ‘Boots’ Chouinard, a WWII U.S. Army Veteran, is well-known throughout the town of Salisbury. Born in 1923, his nickname ‘Boots’ came from a trip he made to the store one winter day at the age of five wearing a pair of oversized boots, and that name has stuck.
This bill now heads to the State House of Representatives for further action.

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