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Community honors life of Cpl. William ‘Kyle’ Ferrell

(7/1) Over 500 members of the Thurmont and Emmitsburg community came together on June 11 to pay their respect to Marine Cpl. William "Kyle" Ferrell in a memorial dedication held at the Thurmont Memorial Park. The memorial was sponsored by members of the American Legion 168, AMVETS Post 7 and VFW Post.

21 year old Cpl. Ferrell, from Carthage, North Carolina was struck and killed On September 29, 2015 while assisting a motorist on the side of the road on Route 15 in Thurmont. Witnesses said the driver stopped about 100 yards down the road immediately after the crash, but then drove away a few minutes later while witnesses tried to help Ferrell. Collision reconstruction experts believe Cpl. Ferrell was standing next to the driver’s side of his truck off the roadway when he was struck. To this day, the driver responsible for the accident has not been found or reported.

The memorial service was dedicated to celebrate Kyle’s service, selflessness, and acts of kindness. A sign was dedicated in memory of Kyle and was erected by the State Highway Association under the Catoctin Furnace Historic Trail Bridge on Rt. 15. A replica of the sign was presented to Cpl. Ferrell’s family at the memorial service.

In addition to members of the community, others in attendance included Cpl. Ferrell’s fellow Marines stationed at Fort Detrick and Camp David. The county delegation included County Executive Jan Gardner, and Councilmen Bud Otis and Kirby Delauter.

Thurmont was honorably represented by Mayor John Kinnaird and Commissioner, and former Marine, Mary Burns, and Emmitsburg was represented by Commissioner, and former soldier Glen Blanchard. In addition, several Marines who call the area home and who were home on vacation came out to honor Cpl. Ferrell by attending in their dress uniforms.

The grounds of Memorial Park, which is dedicated to all veterans that have answered the call of duty, was beautifully turned out. A large American flag, hung from the hook and ladder trucks of the Vigilant Hose and Walkersville volunteer fire companies formed a picturesque backdrop for the service. Members of the Guardian Hose Company were also out in force.

Mayor Kinnaird spoke of the special relationship Thurmont had with the Marine Corps, pointing out that many Marines who serve at Camp David chose to take up residence in the town, and many choose to stay after their enlistments are up. So, "The tragic and unnecessary death of Cpl. Ferrell hit home."

No one spoke more eloquently, or from the heart, of the sacrifice soldiers, like Cpl. Ferrell, are expected to give for their country then Kirby Delauter, a veteran himself: "We can easily look at the military service to understand that when you sign on the dotted line for the US Military, John 15:13 becomes a very real possibility. It’s been evident that should the time come, or the need arise, Kyle definitely was prepared to lay down his life for his fellow Marines and his country. You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him. Kyle died showing his true character, which was in fact, helping someone who at the time, could do nothing for him in return. That is something his parents can, and should be, very proud of."

Following the dedication, all those present were invited to a pig roast fundraiser held at the American Legion Pavilion. Proceeds of the fundraiser will be used to benefit the Carthage Police Department in Kyle’s honor.

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